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If time, money and facilities are at a premium suggestions for quick, cheap and easy meals are always welcome.  Here are a few which may help you to ring the changes.

Savoury mince can be used in many different ways to create interesting and varied meals. This mixture can be frozen for use later and then when thoroughly thawed the various additions can be made, but always ensure the dish is piping hot right through.

Basic Savoury Mince                              

1/2lb lean minced beef:                  

1 small or 1/2 large onion:       

1 stick of celery (optional):              

1 or 2 carrots:                        

Small can of tomatoes:                                  

Beef stock cube.

Tbls. of oil                                                   

Worcestershire sauce   (well worth having in your cupboard as it puts a zing into many a dish.)


Heat oil in pan, chop onion, carrot an celery (if using) and lightly sauté in the oil until beginning to brown. Add the mince and stir until evenly browned. Add the tomatoes, stock cube, and Worcestershire sauce mix well, cover and simmer gently for 20 to 25 minutes.

Variations:    These mixtures can also be used as topping for baked potatoes.

CHILLI CON CARNE   - Add 1-2 teaspoons for chilli powder or a drop of Tabasco sauce and a small can of kidney beans (drained), cook for a further ten minutes to heat kidney beans right through.

SHEPHERD'S PIE - Peel potatoes, cook in salted water until soft.  Drain and mash, adding a little butter if required. Place mince in ovenproof dish and top with the mashed potatoes.   Dot with small knobs of butter and brown under grill.

Alternatively, packet mashed potato can be used.

SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE - Add a Tablespoon of tomato purée, a small clove of garlic and 1/2 a teaspoon of mixed dried herbs or oregano.  Cook spaghetti in salted water until still firm to the bite, drain, serve and pour mince mixture on top.  This mixture can also be served with any pasta shapes and is especially nice if topped with grated Parmesan cheese.

IMPROMPTU PIZZA - Cut two muffins in half (or use whole crumpets) and toast. Spread meat mixture over the top, sprinkle on some grated cheese, oregano, salami or any other favourite or left over ingredients.  Place under grill for three or four minutes until cheese is bubbling.


Suggestion on how to make food go further if money is short of you have unexpected guests




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