All posts filed under: Ultimate Budget Christmas Dinner

Mincemeat Pudding, from 37p

Serves at least 4 very generously, from 37p. For the full shopping list, see here. 300g white bread, 14p (36p/800g, HW Nevill at Tesco) 300ml whole milk, 26p (50p/568ml or 1pt, Asda) OR the combined strained juices from the canned mandarins and canned grapefruit from the Stuffing Roast and Prawn Cocktail, if making this as part of the Christmas menu 50g baking spread, 11p (55p/250g, Best For Baking spread, Asda) 300g mincemeat, 84p (£1.15/411g, Asda) 1 egg, 13p (75p/6 medium free range eggs, Asda) 400g can of custard, 50p (Tesco or Asda) – optional First dice your bread, tear it up, or blast it in a food processor. They all give a similar result, with the food processor edging it for a slightly more even texture but not enough to justify yet more washing up, in my humble opinion. But do whatever feels right to you, with whatever you have at your disposal. Place into a large mixing bowl that will easily hold twice its volume, and set aside for a moment. In a second, …

Cranberry, Mandarin & Cashew Nut Stuffing Roast, from 27p

Serves 8 adults, from 27p each. For the full shopping list, click here. 2 onions, 12p (60p/1kg, Growers Selection at Asda) 200g fresh bread, 9p (36p/800g, HW Nevill at Tesco) PLUS washed clean peels from parsnips, carrots and potatoes, chopped up very finely 125g cashew nuts, soaked in two changes of cold water for 1hr minimum each to remove excess salt, 75p, (75p/125g, Smartprice at Asda) 1 can of mandarins, £1 (Del Monte at Asda or Tesco) 2 tbsp or 35g cranberry sauce, 9p (49p/200g, Tesco) 1 tsp mixed dried herbs, 3p (30p/18g, Asda) 40g baking spread, melted, 9p (55p/250g Best For Baking Spread at Asda) 20g lard, melted, 3p (39p/250g, Stockwell at Tesco) – if making for vegan or veggie friends replace with 20ml cooking oil or 20g solid coconut oil, as preferred Salt and pepper, <1p First peel your onions and top and tail them, then cover with generously salted water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Simmer for around 8 minutes. Meanwhile, blitz your bread …

Yorkshire Puddings, from 11p

This recipe makes eight small Yorkshire puddings in regular sized muffin tins or four large Yorkshire puddings in Yorkshire pudding tins. 2 tablespoons or 25g of lard, 4p (39p/250g, Stockwells at Tesco) 125 g plain flour, 4p (45p/1.5kg, Stockwells at Tesco) A pinch of salt, <1p Half a teaspoon of mixed dried herbs, 1p (30p/18g, Asda) 2 medium eggs, 25p (75p for 6 medium free range eggs, Asda) 150 ml of whole milk, 13p (50p/568ml or 1pt whole milk, Asda) First turn your oven on to 190°C. Drop a little lard into the bottom of each muffin tin, and pop the tin into the oven to heat. Weigh your flour into a jug, this makes pouring out the batter far easier. Add the salt and herbs and stir briefly to distribute. Crack in the eggs and pour over half of the milk, and beat in the remaining milk. Check your muffin tin, the fat should be very hot! Remove it carefully but quickly from the oven. Pour the batter in, divided evenly between the tins. Return …

Big Pigs In Kingsize Blankets, 39p

Serves at least 4, but that’s allowing for three full sized sausages each, and even I admit that may be a little excessive. Maybe. For the full shopping list, see here. 12 sausages, £1.20 (Woodside Farms at Tesco) 200g cooking bacon, rashers only, 30p (75p/500g, Woodside Farms at Tesco) 1 tbsp cranberry sauce, 4p (49p/200g, Tesco) First separate your cooking bacon out into ‘rashers, chunks and scraps’. You want the rashers for this, but some of the more substantial scraps will do as well. The chunks work well in stews and casseroles, and the scraps in pasta sauces and in with your sprouts. Brush each sausage with a little cranberry sauce – this helps the bacon stick to it and stops runaway blankets, and also imparts a note of sweetness that’s delightfully pleasant and unexpected. Wrap a rasher (or substantial scrap or two) around each sausage, and place snugly in a small roasting dish, side by side. If you pack them in tightly, they are less likely to unravel, so you can get away with …

Prawn Cocktail With Caramelised Grapefruit, £1.15

To serve 4, generously. For the full shopping list, see here. 200g small prawns, £2 (Smartprice at Asda, frozen) 90ml/6tbsp seafood sauce, 36p (£1/250ml, Tesco) salt and pepper, <1p 1 can of grapefruit, £1.10 (Del Monte) 130g shredded iceberg lettuce, 35p (Growers Selection at Asda) 200g cherry tomatoes, 48p (Nightingale Farms at Tesco) half a cucumber, 32p (Growers Selection at Asda) First defrost your prawns overnight in the fridge – best to do this in the sealed bag they came in to catch the excess liquid that comes out as they defrost. If you forget, and we all do, you can leave them in a bowl of cold water, covered, at room temperature on Christmas morning, but squeeze one between finger and thumb to make sure it is fully defrosted an hour or so before assembling to serve. Drain your prawns well and gently squeeze them out, and transfer to a small bowl. Mix with the seafood sauce and a little salt and pepper, and set to one side. Drain your grapefruit juice, reserving the …

Jack Monroe’s 3 Course, Zero-Waste Christmas Dinner from £4.34

All prices quoted are per person or portion, and based on generously feeding four adults, with leftovers! The full shopping list is given at the bottom of the post, which was accurate at the time of publication but may be subject to change. Prawn Cocktail, from £1.15 Roast Potatoes, from 12p Mandarin-Glazed Carrots & Parsnips, from 19p Cranberry, Cashew & Veg-Peel Stuffing Roast, from 27p Yorkshire Puddings, from 11p Free Range Roast Chicken, from £1.26 Big Pigs In Kingsize Blankets, from 39p Christmas Odds-And-Sods Gravy, from 11p Sneaky Sprouts, from 29p Mincemeat Pudding, from 37p Get the full shopping list HERE. A version of this menu was originally devised and developed for The St Giles Trust Pantry, registered charity number 801355. You can support their vital work by texting PANTRY to 70460 to donate £5. If you like this, you may like my books, and if you purchase them through this neat affiliate link you support me as the author AND support local bookshops too.

Parsnips & Carrots In Mandarin Glaze, from 19p

Serves 4, generously, from 19p each. See the full shopping list here. 500g parsnips, 40p (40p/500g, Perfectly Imperfect at Tesco) 700g carrots, 28p (41p/1kg at Tesco) a little lard or cooking oil, 2p (see shopping list) a pinch of mixed dried herbs, 2p (30p/18g, Asda) a pinch of salt, <1p a little black pepper, <1p juice from the canned mandarins, optional (see shopping list) First peel your parsnips and carrots, and set the peels to one side in a mixing bowl with a little cold water and a dash of lemon or vinegar to keep them from browning – you’ll be using these in your stuffing roast later! Pop the carrots and parsnips in a large saucepan, and salt generously. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 12 minutes. Drain – reserving the water to reduce for your gravy later – and transfer to a roasting tin. Add the juice from the mandarin can, if using, and lard or oil. Season with salt and pepper, and a pinch of …

Odds And Sods Gravy, from 11p

To serve 4, from 11p each. For the full shopping list, see here. 3 chicken or vegetable stock cubes, 10p (39p/12, Asda) 2 large onions, 12p (60p/1kg, Growers Selection at Asda) 2 tbsp or 35g cranberry sauce, 9p (49p/200g, Tesco) 2 tbsp or 30g flour, 1p (45p/1.5kg, Stockwell at Tesco) 3 tbsp or 40g soft spread, 9p (55p/250g, Best For Baking at Asda) a pinch of mixed dried herbs (30p/18g at Asda) This may be controversial but it really does work, and it’s super easy, so trust me, even if it feels a bit wrong! First peel your onions, quarter them, and pop them in a small powerful blender, along with all the other ingredients and 300ml cold water. Blend until completely smooth. Pour into a heavy based saucepan and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook slowly and gently for around 40 minutes, stirring every now and then. If you have a small slow cooker this is perfect to put in on Christmas Eve on Low and wake up Christmas …

Jack Monroe’s £4.34 3-Course, Zero-Waste Christmas Dinner: THE SHOPPING LIST

All prices quoted are from Asda and Tesco, correct as of December 2020 Asda free range chicken, £5.04 avg 1.55kg 2kg white potatoes, £0.79, Farm Stores at Asda 250g lard, £0.39, Stockwells at Tesco 22 slice white loaf, 36p, HW Nevill’s at Tesco Roasted and salted cashew nuts, £0.75/125g, Smartprice at Asda 12 x chicken or vegetable stock cubes, 39p, Asda own brand 500g Brussels sprouts, 93p, Redmere Farms at Tesco 12 sausages, £1.20, Woodside Farms at Tesco 500g cooking bacon, 75p, Woodside Farms at Tesco 1kg brown onions, 60p, Growers Selection at Asda 1kg carrots, 41p, Tesco 500g parsnips, 40p, Perfectly Imperfect at Tesco 1 can of mandarin segments, £1, Del Monte at Asda 200g small frozen prawns, £2, Smartprice at Asda 130g shredded iceberg lettuce, £0.35, Growers Selection at Asda 250g cherry tomatoes, 48p, Nightingale Farms at Tesco Half a cucumber, £0.32, Growers Selection at Asda 250ml seafood sauce, £1, Tesco 200g cranberry sauce, 49p, Tesco 411g mincemeat, £1.15, Asda own brand 1.5kg plain flour, 45p, Stockwell & Co at Tesco 250g Best …

Sneaky Sprouts, from 29p

To serve 4 adults, from 29p each. See the full shopping list here. 500g brussels sprouts, 93p (93p/500g, Redmere Farms at Tesco) 2-3 small onions, 18p (60p/1kg, Growers Selection at Asda) 2 tbsp lard or cooking oil, 4p (39p/250g lard, Stockwell at Tesco or £1.09/1l vegetable or sunflower oil at Asda) a pinch of salt and a little pepper, <1p Warm your lard over a high heat on your small or medium hob ring until it starts to sizzle, then turn down to medium-low. Peel and very finely slice your onion and add to the pan. Mandolin or finely slice your sprouts and add those too. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on a very low heat for around 12 minutes, keeping everything moving around the pan so it doesn’t stick and burn. These can be kept warm or reheated but are best made right at the last minute and served immediately – I generally get this all sliced up and prepared ready, then put it on the heat as soon as the Yorkshire puddings …

Ultimate Roast Potatoes, from 12p

Serves 4 adults from 12p each. See the full shopping list here. 1kg white potatoes, 40p (79p/2kg, Farm Stores at Asda) 1 tsp salt, <1p Water to cover 4 tbsp or 50g lard, 8p (39p/250g, Stockwell & Co at Tesco) Pinch of mixed dried herbs, 1p (30p/18g, Asda) First lightly scrub your potatoes. I use either a boxfresh sponge scourer, or an all-purpose little cheap and cheerful nail brush, or a clean rough flannel. However you choose, gently remove any dirt lodged in the skin, because you’ll be using the skins later.  Lightly peel your potatoes, with the lightest of touches, barely shaving the skin off at all. Put the skins in a bowl of cold water to keep them from browning, with a dash of vinegar or lemon juice and a hefty pinch of salt – you’ll be coming back to those later.  Cut your spuds into thirds (see the picture attached.)  Pop your spuds in a saucepan and cover with water. Generously salt it, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer …