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Cheap lentils, slightly cheaper chorizo, and practically free silky hands
Pizza, 32cm, chorizo and roasted vegetable, 53p. If it serves 2, 26p each

I tried this experiment yesterday to see what it would be like, and if it would work for our budget.

I thought of it because when I was a child, 10 or 11 maybe, we had our usual gargantuan Sunday lunch – piles of roasties, mountains of yorkshires, millions of veggies, lakes of gravy etc etc. Afterwards as Mum was ferrying dishes out to the kitchen whilst we all sat round with Pa Bear bellies, there was a volley of cursing and shouting from the kitchen.

Mum had found the Sunday joint. Still sitting on the side.
NO-ONE had noticed, neither parent, none of us kids, not one of our visiting friends. So I wondered if it would work here. Tell you what, it was lovely. Crunchy potatoes, creamy cauli, buttery carrot and swede. And yorkshires. Well, they didn’t go quite to plan. Yorkshires are one of Mike’s most favourite things. I make them in a 12 hole bun tin and I might have 1 or 2, and there might be 1 or 2 leftover, maybe. I can’t tell you how many hundreds of times I have made them in the millions of years we have been together. And I stuffed them up! Waah! For some reason unknown to me, I used self raising flour, even tho I have known since I was a wee thing that using self raising flour makes flat yorkshires, you have to use plain flour if you want a risen pudding.

This is what they should look like
Yorkshire puddings

The picture shows runner beans which I used because we still have some, but we didn’t need them, nor the gravy, so I have left those out of the recipe. Use what you have and like of course. Although I would recommend something in the mustardy sauce to give a bit of wetness to the meal.

Serves 2

Cauliflower
One qtr of a cauliflower, including the leaves, £1 each, 25p
200ml milk, Value UHT 50p/litre, 10p
tsp grainy mustard, 1p
Pinch salt

Roasties
500g potatoes, Asda value £1.18/2kg, 29p
Oil for roasting
Salt

Carrot/Swede
A medium carrot, grated, 100g, 80p/kg, 8p
100g swede, 80p a swede, 20p
Knob of butter, buttery spread etc

Yorkshire puddings
300ml milk, Value UHT 50p/litre, 18p
1 egg, about 20p each, depending on what you get
100g flour, 45p/1.5kg, 3p

Potatoes are expensive at the moment, so to keep it to this price, you really need to get some at 59p/kg level. If you are lucky, you have some in the garden, or know someone with an allotment.

imageFirst of all, get the roasties on. Peel the potatoes and cut them into suitable sizes. Pre-boil them for 10 minutes until almost cooked, then drain and give them a good shake in the pan to rough them up. While they are boiling, get the oven heated up to hot, 200 degrees. The trick to crunchy roasties, and to good yorkshires too, is hot, hot, hot. Roasties need to be put into a hot oven, and kept there for maybe longer than you think. Probably an hour. Put the potatoes on an oven tray with low sides, drizzle about half a tsp of oil on each one and sprinkle over a little salt. Put in the oven and set the timer for 45 minutes. You can use beef fat if you have any leftover from frying mince or roasting a joint. Or of course, goose fat, if you are lucky enough to have any, gives a fantastic flavour.

While the potatoes are cooking, start the yorkshires. Put all the ingredients into a jug and whisk until well combined, set aside. In a 12 hole bun tin, put about half a tsp of oil in each hole. Or 10 anyway, as this mix will make 10 puddings. If you don’t have a bun tin, you can still do the pudding using one dish.

Now do the cauliflower. Cut the part you are using into small pieces, include the stems and outer leaves and cook until soft in a microwave dish or saucepan. To make the sauce, put a tbslp of oil in a saucepan and add a heaped tbslp of flour and sizzle for a bit. Measure out 300ml of milk and add a little, stir well until incorporated and repeat until all the milk is used up. Add in a tsp of grainy mustard and some salt and pepper if you like. Considering that this has no cheese in it, it is amazingly creamy. Mix the cauliflower and sauce together and put in an ovenproof dish and set aside.

Grate the carrot and swede and put in a saucepan with a little water.

imageWhen the timer goes off, put the Yorkshire pudding tins in the oven and wait five minutes. Take out one tin, which should be smoking hot and carefully pour in some pudding mix into each hole. Put it back in the oven. Get the other tin out and do the same, you will probably only have enough mix to fill 4 of the 6 holes in this second tin. Put that one back in the oven and set the timer for 10 minutes. The pudding mix needs to sizzle as it hits the hot fat and start cooking immediately, like in the picture.

When the timer goes off this time, put the cauliflower in the bottom of the oven and start the carrot and swede cooking.

Set the timer for another 10 minutes.

When the carrot and swede mixture is nice and soft, drain it and give it a little mash. Add a knob of butter or buttery type thing if you have any, salt and pepper if you like. Put the lid back on.

When the timer goes off, all is ready. Get everything out of the oven, put the plates to warm for a moment, and dish it all up.

We really liked this and were quite happy without the meat. If you try it, I’d love to know what you thought of it.

Any leftover yorkshires (doesn’t happen in this house) reheat very well, and can be frozen.

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Cheap lentils, slightly cheaper chorizo, and practically free silky hands
Pizza, 32cm, chorizo and roasted vegetable, 53p. If it serves 2, 26p each
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