First published in the Guardian and G2 magazine: Jack Monroe’s budget Christmas.

As always, all prices based on Sainsburys and Sainsburys Basics range where available. Similar products available at most leading supermarkets.

Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/agirlcalledjack


  1. The stock from boiling the gammon makes a great pea and ham soup, just put in a bag of frozen peas and blend. The leftover heat in the stock will cook the peas, no need to pour hot water down the sink.

    • I love pea and ham soup, takes me back to my childhood when my great grandma made it for me. Thanks for the tip : )

  2. I guess once one is hobnobbing with the celebrity chefs one has to include toxic animal products to poison the little children in every recipe just to maintain ones credibility amongst the fooderati, no?

    • What?! My recipes are a mixture of vegetarian and non vegetarian and always have been. I met Mary Berry at an awards ceremony once but that’s the closest I’ve ever come to a ‘celebrity chef’, hardly hobnobbing as you put it. I know some people feel strongly about their own beliefs on animal products, but me eating meat isn’t something I’ve suddenly started doing. In fact let me just count up what proportion of my recent recipes are meat recipes, compared to veggie ones…

      Off the top of my head, veggie recipes I’ve done for the Guardian include the beetroot feta and lentil salad, tomato and bean soup, aubergine and chickpea curry, veggie version of the chickpea burger, berry frozen yoghurt, pinwheels…

      Other recent vegetarian recipes on my blog since joining the Guardian include the muffin pizzas, easy mince pies, tree biscuits, apple-sultana pancakes, apple crisps, pop tarts, curried soup, spicy lentil and tomato soup, tomatoes with potato and cheese, raw winter salad, berry bircher, mushroom risotto, borscht, banana curry, banana custard, courgette pasta, kale pesto, macaroni cheese, barley risotto, express porridge, chilli, porridge and yoghurt breakfast, aubergine and kidney bean burgers, lentil and spinach daal, quick and easy lunch.

      In the same time period, I’ve published just 8 meat recipes: liver pate, liver and mash, sausage casserole, lasagne, chickpea and chorizo burgers, medieval mince meat, honey roasted ham, liver casserole.

      And 4 fish recipes: herring roe, fish tagine, fish korma, sprats.

      So just to be absolutely clear – since joining the Guardian I’ve published:

      Vegetarian recipes: 32
      Meat recipes: 8
      Fish recipes: 4

      I can’t quite understand the issue, if i’m honest.

      • Sorry. The hobnob comment was unfair of me. I saw meat mince pies, sprat, roast ham, and liver at the top of the page and let loose with both barrels.

      • But why? You’ve been reading this blog long enough to know that I cook with meat occasionally, but that most of my recipes are vegetarian and quite a few of them are vegan. The veggie chapter is the biggest one in my book. There’s a separate one for beans and pulses which if I remember correctly is a veggie chapter too. I wouldn’t have given a shit if you were a normally troll leaving a comment, it’s the fact that you’re a regular contributor that shocked me. The Christmas recipes are from last weeks guardian, I just haven’t been able to blog them before tonight because I’ve been so busy with the petition. If you only want to see veggie recipes, type ‘vegetarian’ into the search bar. Most of them are tagged.

      • Why? Because I’m an idiot sometimes. Some disturbing footage I’d watched earlier tonight was fresh in my mind and my frustration got the better of me. Please don’t stew on it, you didn’t deserve it.

    • I’m all for better education when it comes to the ingredients in our food I really am, so that I agree on but one question if I may…….why so snarky about it?

      Why not provide the facts (whether it be related to E249 or whatever) or a link to some useful info so then people can make up their own minds? Then perhaps suggest a more suitable alternative for those who want it in a polite way.

  3. Welll I just finished cooking a small size plate of vegies and left over cup of pasta from last nights dinner which I reheated in pan with olive oil and mushrooms and homemade pasta sauce with my herbs and spices and paprika sprinkled over my veg I carried my plate on my tray with my glass of water onto the sofa and felt this sense of gratitude and I felt very fortunate and thought man this looks good lol tasted divine too lol had the same meal last night but last night had small bit of mince added to the pasta mixed with mushrooms and sauce was equally divine I was reading this as I was eating my meal tonight thought reading I would eat slower my dinner might last longer Lool ..yeah just thought I’d share lol

  4. I for one am hugely impressed with Jack’s menu because of its simplicity and tastiness! I adore sprats & liver (so nourishing & tasty if cooked well) and all of these recipes remind me of my (Estonian) mother’s cooking. Two of them will definitely appear on our New Year’s Day table – Huge Thanks.

    (Keep up the inspirational ideas – love the simplicity of them all, and so glad you cater for us occasional meat eaters too!)

  5. Sounds intriguing, I might experiment with the sprats, but After Christmas!
    I hate to put you under any extra pressure, but please can you post the rest of the curry recipes? I committed myself to a Christmas eve charity curry night after I saw your blog, but im starting to panic now, as I was hoping to have a trial run 🙁
    Please, sorry, thankyou!!!LOL!! xx

    • Sure! In the meantime there is the fish korma, Aubergine and chickpea curry, fridge curry, spinach and lentil daal, Saag aloo and warm spicy daal to be getting on with, and you’d get away with the fish or chicken tagine too 😉 i’ll have the rest up on the weekend. X

  6. By the way, I should mention that I think a lot of what you write is great – just that ideas on better sourced meat would be welcome.

  7. Jack! Well done on keeping yourself well fed through a hard time. It is so important that you are well and healthy so you can sustain yourself, your son and improve your life in any way you want. My best wishes to the both of you. x

  8. Heard about you on Women’s Hours yesterday couldn’t wait to check out the recipe for lunch with my sister today we made bean burgers. They are fab even my 91 yr old mother is converted. I’ll be taking this recipe to Ireland now to try it out on my daughter. Best flavour and texture ever. Thanks

  9. Hi Jack, I am writing this from India. Lots of food for thought in your columns. Have been unemployed for the past year and a half and have been eating into my savings – not very nutritious. Since I lost my job I have been a freelance columnist.

    Like many in India I subscribe to newspapers and sell these as scrap to the informal recycling economy which is quite large here. I was wondering how you dispose off your empty metal containers and whether these can be sold instead of it being disposed off in the trash.

  10. hi jack, here is a simple healthy cheap tasty recipe, pasta boiled, strain, add 1 or 2 jars of pesto, 1 tin of mushrooms, strained, sliced up cooked ham or tin fish or spicy sausage, 1 tin of sweet corn, strained, mix all together, viola !

  11. Just seen you on ‘Loose Women’ so I googled. You are an inspiration. (Well done to Richard for apologizing!….at least he was grown up enough to do that and not get aggressive and dig his hole deeper). Everyone gets a bit narky now and again 😉 I am SO looking forward to trying out your recipes. I am not in as mush of a financial hole as I was this time last year,…but I think we can ALL learn to use, not waste and to budget more. xxx TY xxx

  12. OK I am really new to this but if I made this Ham can I keep it in the fridge and use it for cold meats for lunchboxes? If so how long roughly would this keep?

    Thank you

Leave a Reply