- Bulk Cooking
- August 8th, 2013
For my first post I want to tell you all about my new adventure, which is bulk cooking, something I'm really getting into and really love!
The reason I've got into cooking in bulk is because we don't like to have lots of ready made meals (which do seem to be the norm these days), we prefer to cook from scratch with real ingredients like vegetables - remember those?
Anyway, it can be a bind every night to have to start cooking from scratch, and so I've got into cooking a huge potful and freezing portions to make life easier later.
The kinds of food that I'm cooking in bulk is things like Chilli, Curry, Spaghetti sauce (which can be used in lasagnes etc as well), stews, soups, anything at all like that.
The great thing is that if you cook in bulk you can also buy the ingredients in bulk, so my new favourite shopping places are the local Asian supermarket, and also Aldi which is incredibly compeitive compared to the main supermarkets.
For example, at the Asian supermarket I can get a 10Kg bag of onions for £3.50, it would probably cost over £20 at the supermarket, and really unless you are going to be doing a lot of cooking then 10Kg is waaaaay too much!!
But if you cook a lot in one go then you will actually use them up, and in the process save yourself a fortune.
I also get from the Asian supermarket giant tins of kidney beans and tomatoes (I mean like 2.5kg tins) for under £2 each, and you can if you don't mind Halal meat (which I don't) get a lot of chicken, ready chopped, at very reasonable prices.
What you will also need is a giant pan, I mean like the kind you'd find in a restaurant or school kitchen, it is no use trying to do this with small pans.
The giant cauldron like pan I have is so big I have to put it over 2 rings on the hob, otherwise it just takes forever to cook.
So what I do when I'm making a curry for example is to chop 1/2 an onion for each chicken breast, and at 30 chicken breasts at a time that works out to 15 onions!
I fry these with a whole block of butter (also from the Asian supermarket) until they go golden brown, then I add my pataks curry paste from my industrial sized jar (also from the Asian supermarket), add the chicked (from the same place), and give it all a good stir, then add a giant tin of tomatoes or 2, then let it cook and simmer for a couple of hours or so.
Once done we'll have a portion of that each for our dinner, then once the rest has cooled I put it into freezer bags, 1 portion per bag, write on what it is and when it was made, and store it in the freezer.
When we next want some curry for dinner I get 4 portions out of the freezer, leave them to defrost, then heat it in a pan.
It makes life nice and easy and works out to under £1 per portion, which is an incredibly low cost way to prepare a good quality, homemade dinner for 4 people.
I will be making chilli and spaghetti sauce this weekend, I bought 5 kilos of minced beef from the butchers for £35, that should give us a good 30 portions for under £1.50 per portion.
I could have gone for cheaper beef and made the same quantity for probably 90 pence per portion, but I am a bit fussy with minced beef and prefer to not have it too grisly, so I chose the local butcher this time, I think it's worth paying that bit extra for much better quality.
Anyway, I hope that you can see the benefits of cooking in bulk, when I make the giant portions this weekend I'll post up some photos so you can see what I'm talking about.