Quality food on the cheap, as always.

It’s the latest foodie craze – cooking on a budget.

Jamie’s at it with his Money Saving Meals, although spending over £7 on a chicken doesn’t sound money saving to me!

The blogesphere is full of budget chefs The Skint Foodie and a Girl Called Jack are worth a mention.

And then there are the other celebrity chefs jumping on the bandwagon – The really skint Gordon Ramsey is having to cook at home, rather than in one of his 13 UK restaurants – poor old Gordon.

The really annoying Nigel Slater is having to resort to collecting windfalls from his orchard – poor old Nigel.

The really patronising BBC is telling us to bake our own bread or make friends with a butcher!

And finally the really nasty Tories are even telling us to save money by putting on a jumper!

One positive mention though for the moneysaving guru, Martin Lewis who has been giving us decent advice for ages.

So, in the true spirit of togetherness, and hopefully not as patronising, although for those who are really struggling I am sure it is, GarysKitchen is jumping on the bandwagon and here is my recipe for a really cheap, but high quality, three course Sunday lunch.

GarysKitchen menu consists of the following:

Starter – Vegetable Laksa

Main meal – Organic Half Leg of Lamb (totally patronising but you’ll see why) with all the trimmings

Pudding – Apple, Plum and Cherry Crumble with Custard

The total cost for this meal is £14.69 for four people with plenty of leftovers, so £3.67 a head.

I’ve had a go at providing a full cost breakdown and if you check out Jamie’s mothership lamb (no mention of starter or pudding) at over £15, you’ll see that I have beat him hands down.

So how did GarysKitchen manage this money saving feat?

here goes with my budget starter of Vegetable Laksa.

One Malay Taste Laksa kit – Free.  Now this was because they were doing a cashback offer and I got the kit absolutely gratis.

Some chopped vegetables – red pepper, green pepper, mushroom, red onion, pumpkin.

So a starter for about 50p.

Here are my ingredients and kit ready to go.

50p starter

Cooking the Laksa

Next, on to the main course of a Organic Leg of Lamb.  I took Martin’s advice and bagged a reduced organic half leg of lamb for £7.89, rather than the original £11.78. Now I know that this is still a hefty price tag but I do not like to buy cheap meat (I accept that I can afford to make this choice and many other people don’t have that option) but even forgetting the organic badge, £7.89 is still cheap for a decent lump of meat and this is a recipe for quality food remember.


So how to make this lamb even more quality – marinading of course.

So I picked some rosemary, thyme and mint from my Garden (oh no, I am turning into Nigel Slater – Well not quite as we have a tray of mixed herbs that the slugs haven’t managed to devour) which I chopped up with 3 garlic cloves and some lemon zest – about 20p’s worth.

Ready for chopping


And then I smothered the lamb in this mix and left it marinate for a few hours.

Marinating away

Now onto all the trimmings.

Potatoes – I am a bit fussy about potatoes and like Albert Bartlett Rooster red potatoes, they are a bit more expensive at £2.00 for 2kgs but they are nice and make great roasties.  so I used about 75ps worth

Parsnips – I always buy my veg loose as it is cheaper and 4 parsnips came in at about 90p

Mashed Celeriac – 80p for a whole celeriac, I used about half so 40p

Roasted Carrots – 30p

Sweetheart Cabbage – again about 40p worth

Peas – sorry Petis Pois – about 50p worth

Yorkshire puddings – Why make your own when Aunt Bessie does a great job at £1.00 for 12, so 8p each

Gravy – Make your own with the roast juices and a stock cube at 15p

All in all the trimmings came to about £4.00

So £11.89 for the main meal

Finally, the pudding.  Now I really have gone all Nigel here but rather than getting windfalls from my own orchard, I bagged some from my father in law – so free apples.

I then had some leftover plums about to go rotten in the fruit bowl, so about 30p worth and then the final ingredient really is the middle class pièce de résistance – cherries picked from our own tree in Kent!  Now these too were free (well apart from the cost of petrol driving to and from Kent twice) as we were bought a rent a cherry tree as a christmas present and harvested a load of cherries.

So our freezer is full of cherries, here are some frozen ones

our harvest frozen

And here they are being stewed.

Stewing our harvest

and potted into the ultimate middle class accessory – the Kilner jar!


Anyway, GarysKitchen has loads of free cherries!

Next the crumble mix.

Butter, flour, some porridge oats, brown sugar and ground almonds – what do you reckon, about a quid?

And finally custard – again why make your own when ambrosia does 500g for a quid.

So total pudding coming in at about £2.30 

Here are the finished articles

Veggie Laksa

Lamb Roast

Fruit crumble

and all three together

Three together


Posted on October 24, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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