The kids are back at school on Monday. MONDAY. Nothing like leaving it until the very last minute to getting organised. Today was spent shopping for school shoes, bags and books with the afternoon spent batch cooking and filling the freezer. I have Amelie starting baby infants and Vivi starting pre-school and the boys in 2nd and 4th class (woohoo its a first communion school year again!). Coupled with the fact we are back in England for a week (so they are doing 2 days at school then off for a week, what a great start!) coming back to go to concerts, family reunions, 90th birthday parties, my 30th and a ton of work on top – well I dont want to add the stress of cooking meals from scratch every single day.
Im linking up with the lovely Deb at Fat Deb Slim and her back to school freezer cooking linky, head over there to see lots of yummy recipes, with proper measurements and really nice photos. Batch cooking is the best way ever to get a load of meals prepared, so you always have something on hand instead of falling back on nuggets/sausages/fishfingers/pizza and chips or a takeaway on those days where you are manically rushing around or just not up for the whole cooking lark, this is my go to meal for cooking and freezing.
Mince based meals are my freezer friends. I go to my local butchers and buy 8lbs of beef mince, 2 lbs of Pork mince, and 32 sausages (we are a 12/14 sausage per meal family, and Amelies first word was ‘sausages’), head to Aldi and buy whatever veggies are on offer + onions and potatoes, then head home to chop up all said veggies and then get cooking!
This is my recipe for meatballs/meatloaf. They are a pretty similar mix so I make the two dishes at the same time. Sorry (not sorry) for the complete lack of measurements, I just bung it all in in rough handfuls, this makes me a shedload of meatballs, and 2 meatloaf’s/meatloaves (what is the plural of meatloaf?) for my family of 7.
Heres what you need…
quantity wise I guess scale it to how much you want to make. I usually use 2lbs of pork + beef to 8 Sausages.
Sausage meat (or just sausages out of their cases)
handful of polenta
Handful of finely diced onions/spring onions
You can also add mushroom and pepper. I didn’t have any on hand hence the carrots and onions.
Get all gooey and mix the whole lot together. Then split into two bowls.
In one bowl season and add a hefty dollop of pesto to the mix.
In the second bowl add bbq sauce, tomato ketchup and mustard mixed together.
Shape the pesto ones into meatballs and the BBQ one into meatloaf.
Ok so they look like brains/dog food (according to Maxi), and are pretty gross to make, BUT they do taste yummy and freeze really well.
side note – what is the correct way to stage food? Im no Delia and dont think my 10 year old baking trays really cut it! I’ve no cooked or finished product photos of the above because we arent back at school yet so they are still in the freezer. I’ll update with a ‘cooked’ photo when we eat!
To cook the meatloaf take out of the freezer to defrost, then before putting into the oven slather with more bbq sauce, mustard, ketchup mix and cook until cooked!
We serve the meatballs with pasta and red sauce, but sometimes we also go a’la Ikea and do gravy and mash. The meatloaf gets served with veggies, gravy (made from the meatloaf juices + cornflour) and potatoes.
So at least I know we wont starve when we are back at school, now – just the 3 lots of uniforms to sort through and name…!