Cooking on the cheap is never easy when you’ve got a taste for the finer things in life. There’s only so many times you can enthusiastically tuck into a plate of baked beans on toast without craving something a little more complex.
With this in mind, I headed to Waitrose to scavenge in the cost-price near-expired section of the fridges to see what I could come up with, and I came home brandishing several kilos of top-quality braising steak.
Braising, or stewing steak, is great when thrown into the slow-cooker or crockpot for a minimum of five hours with some tasty bits from the pantry. And super-cheap. Especially when you can buy at a discount. Tuck some away into the freezer for a rainy day and you’ll always have some protein on-hand for a hearty meal.
Here’s my recipe for an irresistible beef in black bean sauce:
Beef in black bean sauce
500g braising steak, diced
1/4 cup cornflour
1 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp of a good-quality black bean sauce (I use Lee Kum Kee Black Bean & Garlic Sauce)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 brown onion, quartered
1 green pepper, chopped roughly
1/2 cup chopped spring onion
rice, to serve
Dice the steak into bite-sized pieces and toss in the cornflour until coated.
Brown the coated steak in the sesame oil in a frypan
Add to the slow-cooker or crockpot with all the other ingredients except the spring onion (this is added at the very end, a few minutes before serving)
Cook for 6 – 8 hours on low
It’s that easy!
This recipe will make your house smell like the inside of a Chinese takeaway, and it will taste just as good as what they have to offer.
Serve with rice and stir-fried vegetables and you’ll feed 4 people for as little as £6.00.