Monday, 24 February 2014

Day 24 of Extremely Frugal February - Beef Pie and Leftovers Pudding

Day 24 of 28, a Bit More Bullying for the Beef.

On day 11, I cooked a little piece of roast beef and began counting out the meals it could provide. At 600g in weight, there should be sufficient for 6 meals but, at £1 per 100g for the beef and a budget of £1 per day per person for ALL meals, I need to stretch it further.

The original post is here if you missed it and we have had two meals each (4 servings) from the beef, so far.

Tonight I made a large pie that will provide two of us with three meals each (6 servings), so that will be 10 meals from the £6 piece of beef. I had saved the gravy juices from the meat after slow cooking it, so that had been frozen for later use, too - I simply defrost it when needed and thicken it with some cheap, instant gravy granules.

Homemade roast beef and onion pie just out the oven

Pastry is great stuff, isn't it? I use 50g margarine, 50g lard and 200g plain flour with a pinch of salt and some water to bind it. then roll it out in plain flour.

Making pastry
I always use the cheapest available ingredients, so I am currently baking with tinned, pasteurised margarine bought at 3 tins for £1. I am by no means a good cook, but I'm led to believe that keeping everything chilled is the secret to good pastry; I try my best and am not scared to scrub up and get stuck into mixing by hand.

Greasing the plate with the lard wrapper
Right, what have we got so far? A plate, some flour, lard and margarine and one small egg from the garden hens, so I am able to glaze the pastry - this always enhances the finished look and makes it appear much less like leftovers wrapped in a pie case.

Rolling out the chilled pastry
The 200g of plain flour is sufficient to make a large family pie, big enough to serve 6. I use the same recipe for all my short crust pies, whether they are sweet or savoury. Apologies for this next photo, I forgot to switch on the flash. My beef and onion pie filling wasn't really emitting a golden glow.

Glowing like savoury gold - roast beef with onions in gravy

I freeze most things in margarine tubs, so the above is the rolled pastry with half a tub of beef plus gravy - I used a dinner plate for baking it. Paint around the edges with beaten egg so you get a food seal between bottom and top of the pie pastry. You can use milk if you have no egg or just seal it with water if all else fails, then press the edges together with a fork. Make a little hole in the centre to let out any excess steam.

Use up the pastry trimmings to decorate your pie
It was either Fonzie, Bernice or Mrs Splashy who laid us a tiny egg this week - they are our Pekin bantam hens - so I beat this up and glazed the pie top. Now I have pastry offcuts and the remains of a tiny egg leftover from pie making. Excellent! Enough to make pudding!

Making pudding from the leftovers

The leftover pastry was enough to roll out and line two small flan dishes, so I put a scoop of homemade blackcurrant jam into each. The egg... I creamed a little sugar and margarine, added some self-raising flour and beat in the little bit egg with some water and used this frugal sponge-like mix to cover the jam in the pastry cases.

Leftovers being turned into fruit sponge in pastry
The little fruit flans with sponge got cooked in the mini oven while we were eating dinner. Ordinarily, these flan dishes make individual servings but one was enough between two of us when served with some instant custard. We do like or food here in Frugaldom and I find that an average of £1 per person per day for all food is quite sufficient, although this does take some practice while building up basic stores of ingredients and dried goods.
Fruit sponge flans made from pie-making leftovers
Having savoured the flavour of the pie at dinnertime, I now have two thirds of a meat pie and one small fruit sponge flan for future meals. The steak pie was served with potatoes and mixed vegetables and I'm guessing that we'll be having similar for the next couple of days, as I can't refreeze the pie. But let's face it, in the Frugaldom household, beef for three days on the trot is sheer bliss and then that leaves only Thursday and Friday to see me through to March ... and another new month of challenges! Yeah!

NYK, Frugaldom


  1. Those little fruit sponge pastries look lovely. I might try to make some myself. Thanks for sharing and well done on your frugal February challenge. You are really doing well.

    1. I've had plenty of practice with the £1/person/day budget to the point that I don't want to have to give it up without a screaming and kicking fight! The grocery budget is on-going all year round, the February challenge, for me, is more about making sure I write a daily blog about it. :) All the 2012 meals are listed in the forum. :)

  2. Now that is a good use of both the beef and leftover pastry. Watched Food and drink last night and they were making round haggis pasta things. Looked fine, except for the wasted pasta which no doubt went in the bin!

    1. I didn't see the programme but I do wonder how much goes in the bin from many of these programmes. Food waste is such a huge topic, it's like my trying to get my head around the 8.2 million population of London to the 5.5 million inhabitants of the entire country of Scotland. For someone like me, it's inconceivable how much food gets wasted in Scotland alone, never mind throughout the British Isles and further afield.

  3. It all looks very yummy too. I always think its amazing how many meals food can make if you try.

    X x

  4. If you have any nuts in your cupboard you could attempt to make milk I run out of milk but I have blanched almonds in my cupboard so I am going attempt to make some milk so I can have porridge tomorrow.


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