Meal 1 – Sunday Night – Veal and Three Veg

Today was a busy day. I had an assignment to write for a course I am doing, as well as washing on the line and wanted to get to Iron Cove for a long walk to eliminate as much as possible the effect of yesterday’s pavlova and baklava. Compounding this timetable was a Rugby League game on TV (the Tigers losing to the Sea Eagles), the Great (yawn) debate between Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and lastly the Masterchef Australia Grand Finale. This left me exactly a 30-minute window between the end of the football and the start of the debate.

So – simple, quick and not too expensive. Head in the fridge and out came the ingredients:

  1. Two Veal T-bones
  2. 4 rashers of bacon
  3. 4 Royal Blue Potatoes
  4. Two packets of Heinz “Steam Fresh” vegetables (yes, I know – this is probably cheating but we’ve given up throwing out lots of uneaten fresh vegetables so the packets of frozen vegetables provide a very good alternative for us).

So, this was easy as.

Peel potatoes, dice and add to a pan of cold water, bring to the boil then drain and mash with some butter and milk. Season with garlic granules and black pepper.

Season the steaks with some salt and pepper and add to a hot pan – turning the heat down to a medium to hot level. Fry until the cooked colour moves half way up the side of the steak then turn the steak. Cook for the same amount of time, then remove from the pan and let rest.

Stick the frozen vegetables in the microwave and nuke them for a couple of minutes. In the meantime, add the bacon to the pan the steaks were cooked in and cook them.

Serve with the bacon on top of the steak, mashed potato and vegetables to the side.

Total preparation and cooking time was about 25 minutes and the meal consisted of meat, potatoes and the equivalent of nearly two serves of vegetables. Boring and plain perhaps and because of that, only rating about a 6/10 but it certainly fitted all the parameters.

Sausage Stew

We got home tonight and madam noted, “I’m bloody hungry, how long before dinner?” After some negotiation we agreed that I would knock something up and serve in 30 minutes. This was at the same time as cooking some cupcakes.

So, it was like a combination of Ready, Steady, Cook and Masterchef. An invention test in 30 minutes.

Out came the following ingredients (and it is sort of embarrassing using so few but also rather satisfying to manage it with what was in the pantry):

  1. Four large sausages – this will work with long breakfast sausages as well – I had four organic beef sausage, gluten free in the fridge.
  2. A 500 ml tetra pak of Campbell’s Velish – a thick vegetable soup. Really, any of the flavours could be used however I just used the plain vegetable.
  3. Two onions and two cloves of garlic.
  4. A packet of frozen mixed vegetables – one of the small packets is fine. Equally you could subsitute corn and peas.

OK – simple as. Chop the garlic. The onion was halved then cut in slices. Cut the sausages to bite sized chunks.

Take a skillet, slurp a little olive oil into it, and toss in the garlic. When you get that nice garlic smell coming off the pan, add the onion. As the onion starts to go translucent, add the sausages and brown them in the pan. When they are browned, add the Velish and bring up to just short of boiling (well, when you get the first bubbles).

When the soup is hot, add the frozen vegetable and simmer the whole lot for about 10 minutes, stirring every so often.

I also made some mashed potatoes (if you don’t know how to cook them, Google it 😆  ). Serve the stew with some mashed potatoes.

For a variation (and for a quick cheat), when adding the frozen vegetables, you could add a spoon or two of Keen’s Curry Powder (add to taste) and have a Curried Sausage Stew. In this case, serve with rice rather than potatoes.

The score for the invention test was 7/10 … although the cupcakes scored 9  😆