Batch Cooking

Spaghetti Bolognese (the base recipe)

Lasagne

Chili con carne

Ingredients

• 3lbs of mince beef
• 1 packet of streaky smoked rashers diced (optional but a very tasty addition)
• 3 large onions
• 6 grated carrots
(optional but you can also blitz down in a food processor courgettes, aubergines peppers, mushrooms, just about anything and add it in also. Because you’ve blitz the veg they are hidden in the sauce)
• 6 cloves of garlic
• 5 tins of chopped or cherry tomatoes
• 3 tablespoons of tomato puree.
• A tablespoon or two of oregano or basil or marjoram.

Method

In a large deep heavy based pot fry off your onions on a medium heat until they are soft. Add the crushed garlic and fry for another minute. Turn up the heat and add your streaky smoked rashers if using. With the heat still high add the mince bit by bit to brown it off. As long as you keep breaking the mince down as it browns I don’t see the need of dirtying another pan to brown off in batches. You also leave a lot of flavour if you brown in another pan.

Season this with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt.
When the meat is brown add the rest of the vegetables and give it a few minutes to cook through. Add your tomatoes and puree and reduce the temperature and let it simmer until the sauce has thickened ½ / 1 hour. Add your herb of choice and simmer for another 5 minutes.

At this point you can serve up the spaghetti Bolognese and freeze two batches for another day.

I usually make a white sauce (melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add 2 tablespoons of flour and slowly add about 400mls of milk whisking all the time to make a creamy white sauce. Add some white pepper and salt and a pinch of nutmeg) and make up a lasagne using half of what is left by layering lasagne sheets, minced beef sauce and lasagne sheet, white sauce minced beef sauce, lasagne sheets and white sauce topped with some cheese.

With the remainder I add two tea spoons of ground coriander and two teaspoons of cumin, a teaspoon or two of crushed dried chillies, a teaspoon of sugar and a drained tin of kidney beans – mix it all in and pop in the fridge when cold or freeze it for another day. Defrost and heat slowly on a low heat while you cook some rice to serve.