One pot cooking.

Hello Dear Reader,

Tonight, I boiled a gammon joint that I initially bought for Christmas and was never used. It’s always great value. We buy a small joint in Aldi for £3.99 and it feeds us twice. Recently, I’ve been struggling to feed us for less than £1 a head and usually around £1.50 per head. Rising prices mean we all have to take care of the budgets.

One of the way we can do that is through one pot cooking. I use a steamer with the gammon joint in the bottom, (with the water) which I cooked for 45 minutes. I added the carrots, cauliflower and spuds in the last 20 minutes.(to the steamer) I take the cooked potatoes out, place them in a bowl, add butter and mash. It’s a minor saving but a saving nonetheless.

Here’s the recipe for spicy tomato sauce. I usually blitz this with the stick blender but didn’t feel the need today.

3 heaped tablespoons of brown sugar
1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp of tomato puree
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 onion- finely diced
3 cloves of garlic – finely diced
1tbsp oil
1tbsp malt vinegar

  • Fry the onion and garlic until soft
  • Add the rest of ingredients
  • Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes
  • Blend if desired or serve as it is.

I purposefully cook more vegetables and potatoes, these will form part of tomorrow’s easy supper. 

Over to you Dear Reader, what minor savings do you make when you are cooking? How do you save on energy in the kitchen?

As ever, I look forward to hearing from you.

Love Froogs xxxx


15 thoughts on “One pot cooking.

  1. Our kettle needs two mugs of water in it to cover the element so if I'm making a mug of coffee or tea, I pour the excess boiled water into a flask. Two or three mugs of boiled water soon fill the flask and the water can then be returned to the kettle for future use (I boil water in the kettle for putting in the pot of vegetables or potatoes as it's quicker than boiling it from cold on the stove) or for washing up. I also save a bit by using the mini oven rather than the big oven. When using the big oven, I fill it up with baking for packed lunches while it's on. I also switch off the oven a few minutes before 'time up' because the heat stays in the oven for a little while. Batch cooking ie making several meals in one pot then freezing a few saves a lot on energy. I often roast two or three chickens/joints of meat at once to save on energy, then slice/portion up and freeze. Our grill can be used whole or just half so if we're grilling a small amount, we just use half of the grill. Your meal looks lovely. We had bolognaise – bought £10 of steak mince (in T**co with vouchers I had) and bulked it out with lots of green lentils, garlic and onions. It will make 5 main meals for three of us so pretty good value.


  2. I make our bread, and often ask myself if I am saving anything.. I can't have regular white flour, plus the electricity to run the oven, I guess I should make at least two loaves at a time, but have only one bread-baking-tin-thing. Maybe next time I use a round cake tin and plop it in with the other.


  3. When I make bread at this time of year, I save a little on the heating, because putting the oven on means I don't have to have the heating on so much. I don't know how it works out really, cost-wise, but at least the heat isn't going to waste.


  4. Exactly how I cook a gammon joint, and I have known my mother stick another steamer in the heap and cook a sponge pudding as well! Gammon in the pan at the bottom, then pud in steamer and then veggies for a shorter time in another steamer on the top. Hate using my big oven if I can help it, but when we do, it is always full – baking, sometimes with a jacket potato or two popped in as well, and often a crumble if there is spare capacity. Love the blog and the recipes – thanks for the inspiration xx


  5. Last night DH cooked our dinner on the small gas BBQ outdoors – sausages, onions and sliced sweet potato. While it was on we also cooked the kofta ballls which I would normally do in the large wok on the gas ring in the kitchen. I saved twice – on extra gas and also extra washing up!


  6. Many kinds of pasta will cook with the burner turned off after it's been brought to a boil the second time. Make sure to cover the pot and don't peek. Takes the same time as usual. Works best with a somewhat heavy pot. I have used this method for years, for elbow macaroni, shells, rotini, and the packaged mac & cheese pasta. It doesn't seem to work as well for spaghetti for some reason, though.

    I use my toaster oven or microwave whenever I can in place of the regular oven. Heating a cup of water for tea or instant coffee in the microwave uses much less power than in a kettle or on a stovetop. I cook pot roast on top of the stove instead of in the oven. I know it would be even more power-efficient to cook it in a slow cooker, but I am away a good part of the day and I have a distrust of leaving electrical appliances on when no one but the pets are home 🙂


  7. I usually cook two meals at once in some way. Last night we had a roast dinner.

    Half the chicken yesterday and tonight we will have a stir fry. I did a massive batch of roast potatoes, you can take them out 10 minutes early and freeze them. They'll only require 10 minutes next time.

    I do things like turn the oven off early, use vegetable water to make gravy and save leftovers for a micro meal.


  8. Yum! Looks great Froogs! I always plan for intentional leftovers and if there is anything left after that I repurpose it into something else. For instance, I made a whole roast chicken in the crockpot. We ate twice from that and I still have enough chicken left on the bones to make a soup later and even still later I can take the carcus and simmer it to make stock. I try to use my crockpot as much as possible because it is energy saving and so versatile. I hope everyone is staying warm and dry! I awoke to 8″ of snow this morning in Western NC!


  9. I've adopted a method of boiling potatoes that I found in a book about wartime leaflets. Cut the potatoes into pieces, cover with water, bring to the boil, then pop on a tight-fitting lid and take the pan off the heat. Leave to stand for half an hour or so, and they slowly finish cooking.

    I also use the pressure cooker a lot, especially for soups, stews, stock etc that do several meals' worth at once.


  10. Hi from Noreen here in Cork, Ireland. I love reading your blog. Great reading! I too love cooking, sewing and gardening. I Hope you are all ok with this terrible weather. Keep warm!


  11. I have solid hotplates. I try to remember to turn them off a little earlier and use the heat in the hotplate to finish the cooking. You can do the same with the residual heat in the oven. I also use the convection microwave as my main oven as much as posable as it is smaller. I bring things to the boil with a lid on too. As I live in Australia we limit oven meals in summer and use them in winter to help warm us and the house.


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