I'm making 'Evolving stew'. I'm aware that people may not be able to get hold of the usual supplies and until the human race starts thinking of everyone instead of the 'me-me-me' ethos at the moment, we may have to resort to make-do-and-manage, just like our grandparents and great-grandparents had to do.
Raid your freezer and cupboards (it's a good excuse to clear out the cupboards and defrost the freezer), use what you can. Throw nothing out!
The recipe - my recipe - is easy to adapt to suit your own cupboard/freezer situation.
One pack of stewing steak, fried with butter, garlic, garlic granules and turmeric. Use any meat you like, frozen or fresh, it doesn't matter.
One pack of my home-grown tomatoes I had frozen last year (I KNEW they'd come in useful). Thaw overnight and remove the skins. I put them in the frying pan I used for the steak in order to get all the juices from the pan. There will be a lot of liquid, don't throw it out.
One pack of fresh, pre-chopped casserole veg - again, frozen veg is good too.
One pack of casserole mix - found in the back of the cupboard from goodness knows when.
One onion, chopped.
Other veg - the potatoes that are starting to sprout and go soft, the carrots that have seen better days, any frozen veg that you'll probably not use, go on, wash, peel and chop it and put it all in there!
Don't forget water! Almost to the top of the pot, but not too much that it could boil over and lose some of the deliciousness.
Mine is in the hot-pot, slow cooker, but you can put it on a low heat in the oven.
The stew will be ready tomorrow and I'll make dumplings just before we eat (20-30 mins cooking time).
Tomorrow, I'll restock the stew. We'll not need more meat, but the veg and liquid will be low. More tomatoes and/or canned soup that no-one likes (the stew will dilute the flavour so no one will know). More water and gravy granules.
One thing to think about in these times of shortage and panic buying... dried food and packet mixes are easier to find - gravy granules, casserole mixes etc add to the taste of an otherwise bland stew.
The day after, you can use more meat - frozen, canned or fresh and restock the stew with veg etc. I'm using my store of frozen tomatoes because they'll not be any good for anything else.
Basically, if you've got leftovers, chuck it in the stew. I'll try to use up one type of meat before chucking in another type, but who knows?
Other things to try:
Bottled sauces - using the theory that it will be diluted, even spaghetti sauce will fit in a pinch.
Pastes (garlic and tomato pastes work well).
Dry ingredients - pasta, rice, and/or cornflour if you like a thicker consistency.
The dumplings make up a lot of calories, so you can have less stew if you're having them.
I'm also raiding the freezer to make jam if I can get hold of sugar, but I need the space in the freezer, just in case.
The stew is delicious, cheap and filling and it makes use of frozen food that might not have been used. I think I put some pigs in blankets in the freezer at Christmas - I bet they would taste good in the stew!
Stay safe, this too shall pass.