Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Frugal Roast Dinner

Thank you for the get well soon wishes on my previous post. At last I can say that I feel recovered and ready for the challenge of a New Year.

No resolutions this year, but lots of plans some of which I will be revealing in the weeks to come.

One of my plans is to get a real grip on frugal living this year and I have begun as I mean to go on, serving this delicious but frugal roast dinner on Sunday.


The meat was a piece of belly pork - a very frugal cut. Many people don't like belly pork as  it can be a little fatty, but if you choose carefully you can usually select a piece with thick layers of meat and thinner layers of fat. Long slow cooking will also render out most of the fat leaving just succulent, moist and very tasty meat. I have a rosemary bush growing at the front of my house so made a marinade for the pork of rosemary, garlic, olive oil, salt and black pepper, crushing them all together in my mortar and pestle then rubbing the resulting mush into all the cut surfaces of the meat. I then left it for 3 hours before cooking to allow the flavours time to penetrate through the meat. I removed the crackling from the meat about 30 minutes before the end of cooking and put it back in the oven on a tray of it's own just to make sure it was all nice and crispy.

As the oven was on anyway for the meat I also cooked the vegetables in there. The potatoes were placed around the meat for the last 40 minutes of cooking time so roasted in the flavoursome pork fat. The carrot and parsnip "fries" was an idea I gleaned from Pinterest just matchsticks of carrot and parsnip tossed in a little oil, salt and pepper and roasted for about 15 - 20 minutes. They used up a few wrinkly carrots and parsnips that were languishing at the bottom of the veg basket.  Peas were microwaved for 2 minutes from frozen.

The yorkshire puddings were homemade, but had been frozen from a previous meal. I find it uneconomical to make less than a full tray of 12 yorkshire puds at a time, but now there are only two of us I freeze the surplus for other meals.
The apple & rosemary sauce was made from a lone wrinkly apple, just peeled, diced and popped in a saucepan with a little apple juice and a bit of chopped rosemary. Simmered for about 5 minutes then removed from the heat and mashed up with a tiny knob of butter.  We only used half of it and the leftover sauce was popped in the freezer for another day.

There was enough pork left over to provide sandwiches for lunches too, so all in all a veritable frugal feast!


  1. Gosh I have been cooking 'frugally' all these years and never knew it! It's just the way I cook, using up wrinkly rubbery old bits of fruit and veg, you can usually make something with them, sauces and soups and so on. Slow cooking meat is something I do most of the time, with the exception of roast chicken, and freezing Yorkshires too. The root veg 'fries' I've been doing many many years, sometimes I add dried or fresh herbs to the oil and seasoning, sometimes use garlic salt or onion salt too. I am a big fan of root veggies, in soups too. However, my crackling just won't crisp, no matter what I do, and believe me, I've tried so many ways.
    That gravy looks yummy, set a place for me next time would you? I'll just pop up in the helicopter.......

    1. Have to admit Maggie that most of my cooking is naturally "frugal" - I just hate waste and always try and use up everything. Sometimes my crackling crisps up on the pork but it's a bit of a hit and miss affair, so as in this instance if it doesn't look like it wants to play, I cut it off, put it on a tray on it's own, make sure the oven is turned right up and that seems to always do the trick. (Sometimes I just cut it off right at the start - always seems to crisp up when it's not on top of the meat. I've reserved a place for you for next Sunday ;D

  2. Looks delish.
    Love from Mum

  3. Roast dinners are perfect mid winter food. We had a roast chicken that did two evening meals AND four lunches. Fab value for four pounds. Jx

  4. That looks so good! I'm glad you are feeling better. I've had a bug, too, since New Year's, with a raw throat. So more typing than talking!

    I've been a frugal cook all my life, by my early training (as eldest of nine kids), from necessity, now by choice. I like seeing how far I can make a dollar go when it comes to food.

    You may be interested in this blog, too (http://frugalfeeding.com/) I've been using his Broccoli, Cauliflower and Leek (with potato) soup recipe since I found it (three times in less than a month!) and I still love it. He has great recipes and ideas.

    I will have to try one of your roast dinners. It's quite a while since I did that. I've never made Yorkshire puddings, so will have to learn that, too. Love your blog. ~ Linne

  5. Your meal looks wonderful. I think we all need to cut back. One thing that I did was I went out and purchased some new containers for leftovers. They are clear glass and make it easy to see what is available for quick warm up meals. To many times we have had to throw away something because it was in a reused plastic butter bowl and forgotten. Now that everything is so easy to see, even my sweet Steve is microwaving leftovers instead of making a sandwich at lunchtime.
    Again your meal may be fungal, but it's a delight and great for guests, too. In fact I'm getting hungry looking at your photos :)
    Have a wonderful day.
    Connie :)

  6. Hi, just popped over to say hello and thank you for joining my blog. I'll be reading through yours too, but sadly, because of problems with google, cannot join any blogs for the moment, I just keep getting 'google is not responding' - yet I can post OK ! but I will be a regular visitor.
    I see you have been poorly, glad you are now recovered.


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