All posts tagged: Christmas

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, …

Pinwheel Biscuits, 9p each [A Year In 120 Recipes]

A few years ago, the Guardian asked me to write a recipe feature on a Christmas dinner inspired by Finnish traditions. I was a new food writer, and a little green around the edges, and I attempted it with gusto. Needless to say, it wasn’t the most authentic or brilliant of my recipe collections, and if I’d been asked again today I would have gently pointed them in the direction of a Finnish food writer, instead of trying to do it myself. However, I did learn to make these adorable pinwheel biscuits in the process, and although the liver and sultana casserole effort made headlines for all the wrong reasons, this recipe has stayed in my Christmas favourites. Makes 10, (This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links and make a purchase.) 100g sultanas or prunes or 50g of each, 20p (99p/500g) 2 tablespoons marmalade or honey, …

Tree Biscuits, 5p each [A Year In 120 Recipes]

My Small Boy and I make these every year – although they don’t always make it to the tree..!! (This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links and make a purchase.)   Ingredients (made 24 assorted sizes for £1.11) 300g plain flour, 9p (45p/1.5kg) 100g butter, 58p (£1.45/250g) 100g sugar, 12p (£1.19/kg) 2 eggs, 27p (80p/6 medium free range) 1 tsp cinnamon, 5p (59p/34g) First, the butter – because I make these with my son, I melt it in the microwave for a minute to make it easier to stir in. Traditionally, you would rub it into the flour with your fingertips, but once I started melting my butter in the microwave, I’ve never looked back. Whatever method you choose, you need to combine the butter and flour to form a breadcrumb consistency. Tip in the sugar and cinnamon, and beat in the eggs to combine to …

Red Wine Poached Pears, 46p [A Year In 120 Recipes]

This recipe is so easy that it’s hardly a recipe at all. I use tinned pears, because they’re cheaper and easy to tuck away at the back of a store cupboard, and serve them in a bowl with ice cream and a little grated dark chocolate. Serves 4, from 46p each (This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links and make a purchase.) 1 x 400g tin of pear halves, 79p (79p/410g) 1 large glass of red wine, 92p (£2.75/750ml) 100g sugar, white or brown, 12p (£1.19/kg) a scant 1⁄4 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1p (59p/34g) dark chocolate, to serve, optional Drain two-thirds of the juice from the pears and pour the remainder into a saucepan with the pear halves. Pour over the red wine, then add the sugar and cinnamon. Cover and poach for 15 minutes. Remove the pears and set to one side. Bring the cooking …

Boxing Day Pasties, 13p [A Year In 120 Recipes]

An ideal place to smuggle leftovers – for today or for the freezer, these pasties are as versatile as the scraps of whatever you have left over from your dinner – just knock up (or buy) a quick shortcrust pastry and you’ll have lunch in a jiffy for not very much at all. This recipe was first featured in my second book, A Year in 120 Recipes. Serves 6 at 13p each, (This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links and make a purchase.) 250g fat (butter, marge, or a combination), 60p (Vitalite, £2.40/kg) 500g plain flour, 18p (55p/1.5kg, Sainsburys Basics) a few teaspoons ice cold water Any quantity of leftovers: finely chopped veg, potatoes, stuffing and a good slug of fresh extra thick gravy   Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. First make the pastry. Dice the butter or marge. Tip the flour into a large mixing …

Four Ingredient Christmas Cake, 16p [Jack Monroe’s Advent Recipes]

Christmas for me is a disparate and disorganised affair – zipping between various peoples houses, delivering a Small Boy to all the relatives that want to pinch his cheeks and ruffle his hair, like an exasperated sugar-high parcel. Popping in on parents and grandparents, gathering waifs and strays at mine for my almost-annual ‘Make Christmas A Bit Less Shit’ gathering, and in all of that hullaballoo, well, I forgot to make a cake this year. I think I’m the only person that likes it, anyway. So this time last year, I dug out some old recipes of mine, from days yonder when buying three kinds of nuts and obscure dried fruits was de rigeur, and gawped at the sheer length of the ingredient lists. I set myself a challenge to make a Christmas-ish cake with fewer than nine ingredients. That was pretty easy, so I tried for eight. You can see where this is going! I ended up here; to be honest, the five ingredient cake was my favourite, but I can’t resist the simplicity …

Vegan Nut Roast, 42p

I have made over a hundred variations on this nut roast since meeting Mrs J, who, along with my mother in law, is a lifelong vegetarian. This festive version is one of our favourites – and I make enough to share with the carnivores at our table, because everyone invariably wants a bit! (I’m typing this on my phone on the way out of the BBC Woman’s Hour studios where I realised in a panic that I had just banged on for 15 minutes about my nut roast but hadn’t published the sodding recipe anywhere, so please forgive any spelling errors or whatnot). Serves 8 from 42p each 200g mixed shelled nuts, 70p (70p/200g, Asda) 180g vacuum packed chestnuts, £2.25 1 tbsp oil (£1/1l, Asda) A pinch of salt, <1p 1 large onion, finely chopped, 9p (60p/1kg, Farm Stores at Asda) 4 fat garlic cloves, finely chopped, 6p (50p/3 bulbs, Asda) 6 tbsp sage and onion stuffing mix, 15p (38p/170g, Asda) 4 tbsp cranberry sauce or marmalade, 5p (27p/454g, Smartprice at Asda) 100ml apple or …

Mulled Rich Fruit Tea, 31p [Jack Monroe’s Advent Recipes]

I have tried many times to recreate a decent mulled ‘wine’ that is alcohol-free – because despite what legend may otherwise tell you, boiling alcohol doesn’t eliminate it completely, it just reduces it – and by how much is so comprehensively variable that I dare not even try to tackle it. Mulling alcohol-free red wine would seem like the obvious choice, but I’m yet to find one that stands up to the challenge. If you know of a good, jammy Shiraz in the alcohol-free section, do let me know! Until then, this experiment with my slow cooker has proved to be the favourite; the deep smoke from the slow-brewed Lapsang and the dark, juicy fruit flavours combine with the traditional mulling spices to make a hot, rich, grown-up drink, without the headache. Some of the ingredients may seem a little odd – so let me explain. The ginger and sultanas are to replace the traditional ginger wine that forms the base of mulled wine. Ginger wine is made from raisins and ginger, so I simply …

St Clement’s Chicken [A Year In 120 Recipes]

I named this one St Clements chicken after the old nursery rhyme, ‘Oranges and lemons, sang the bells of St Clements…’ Although I use mandarins in mine, a mere technicality… Serves 4, (This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links and make a purchase.) 1 x whole chicken Zest of 1 lemon 1 x 200g tin of mandarins 75g butter (softened) 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon mixed dried herbs a fistful of flat-leaf parsley First, preheat your oven to 190C. Then weigh your whole chicken to calculate the cooking time. You need to cook it for 20 minutes per 450g, plus an extra 20 minutes at the end. For example, a 1.4kg bird will need just over an hour and 20 minutes in the oven. Grate the lemon zest into the bowl and combine it with the drained mandarins, using a fork to break up the …

Mince Pie Toastie, 36p [Jack Monroe’s Advent Recipes]

Regular readers will know that I have quite the love affair with my toastie maker, and have done since childhood, when my mum would wrestle the big white Breville from beneath the sink and turn it on, and we knew that we had a scalding-hot pocket of delight for our imminent lunch. I rediscovered my love for toasties in adulthood – as life can sometimes be overwhelming and with a child tugging on my arm to be fed, and now nothing is safe from being sandwiched between those hot plates and slathered in cheese. This shouldn’t work, but it definitely does, and received rave reviews from my friends and family. It works with vegan cheese too – try Violife mozzarella slices or similar for the best results. Serves one from 36p each Two slices of white bread, 5p (55p/800g, Asda) 3tbsp mincemeat, 10p (or smashed up leftover mince pies), (£2.02/822g, Asda) 40g cheese, 20p (10 slices cheddar/99p, Smartprice at Asda) A smudge of oil, 1p Assemble your sandwich in the usual fashion: Lay the bread …