Pocket pleasing or Tasty? You can have both!

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Pocket pleasing or Tasty? You can have both!

With the build up to Christmas well and truly under way, you may be watching the pennies a little closer and the area most of us cut back on first is our weekly shopping bill. Eating economically doesn’t have to mean eating bland, tasteless food. In order to prove this we sent out Marketing Executive Sarah on a mission to find alternative meals that are packed full of flavour but light on the purse.

Hi, my name is Sarah and I have a love of food, especially home cooked food so when I was asked to take on the challenge of creating an economical recipe that didn’t compromise on flavour, I jumped at the chance.

Beef is by far my favourite meat, especially steak, cooked rare with chunky homemade chips and grilled tomatoes, but at roughly £22 per kg of ribeye steak, it is definitely not a cheap family meal.

Reluctant to give up on using beef I searched for a cheaper alternative and after seeking advice from my local butcher I decided on using beef skirt.  Beef skirt is from the plate of the cow and is known for been chewy but full of flavour, due to this, the meat is often a lot cheaper than more popular cuts and comes in at around £8 per kg.

Skirt can be grilled or pan fried, if you choose to cook it in this way, you will need cut the meat very thinly and cook it quickly on a high, dry heat, it is best not to cook the meat much past medium rare. I found this can be a little tricky to get right but when cooked well is great with fajitas.

I have decided on this occasion to use my beef skirt in a winter stew, packed full of winter veg and a rich gravy.

I based my recipe on feeding four people but once prepared I found it would comfortably feed six. I purchased ingredients from my local supermarket and found that the staff had great knowledge on the best veg to use, I would highly recommend asking for advice if you are unsure of which veg work well together.

The key to getting this dish perfect is to cook for as long as possible, I was a little worried the meat may disintegrate into mush but after 4 hours it had become so tender it melted in the mouth and was still full of flavour.

Not only was this dish truly delicious it came in at £2.75 per head to feed a family of four, but as I mentioned earlier it would easily feed six making it a pocket pleasing £1.83 per head.

I am impressed that that by seeking advice and trying things that may need a little more thought or preparation time you can create delicious meals on a budget and still get that beef fix.

Click here for full Beef Skirt Stew recipe.