75p BBQ Cheese Gratin


I’ve inadvertently had a very money-saving day today by spending most of it in bed! I felt quite under the weather, and as I’m having a wisdom tooth out tomorrow, I thought a day of rest would be better than making myself run down. Liv was a love and didn’t even get mad about me not cleaning 🙂

Today’s recipe is something that we make quite regularly as it uses up lots of ‘bits and bobs’ from the fridge and the cupboard, and satisfies both Liv’s love of BBQ sauce and my love of all things cheezy! The cost has come out on the pricier side for 2 reasons: a) I priced it as full price carrots, when in fact it uses a mix of ‘waste’ veg such as broccoli stalks, and b) I’ve set it as serving 4, because that’s how we split it. If you’ve got smaller appetites than us, or serve more sides, this will happily serve 6 people at  50p each. Of course the other way to save would be to avoid the more expensive ingredients – nutritional yeast and BBQ sauce – but then it wouldn’t fulfill our flavour requirements! You could also replace the mince with TVP or lentils which may run cheaper.

gratin cooked

BBQ Cheezy Gratin – Serves 4

For the veg layer:

  • 400g white potatoes, sliced thinly – 20.6p
  • 400g leftover veg, sliced thinly (e.g. carrots, parsnips, courgette, cauliflower/broccoli stalks) – 16.8p when priced as carrots

For the BBQ layer:

  • 3 mushrooms, finely chopped – 12.7p
  • 1 onion, finely chopped – 4.7p
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped – 2p
  • 1/2 a red pepper, finely chopped – 9.1p
  • 1/2 pack veggie mince – 87.5p, Tesco
  • 1/2 tin chickpeas – 16.5p
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1ml liquid smoke – 2.1p, Tesco
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika – 2.5p
  • 3 tbsp BBQ sauce – 12p, Tesco

For the cheezy sauce:

  • 4 tbsp white flour – 1.8p
  • 1 tbsp Vitalite spread – 3p, Tesco
  • 400ml soya milk – 15.7p. priced as we use which is watered down, milk to water 2:1
  • 1 tsp garlic powder – 4.7p
  • 1 tsp onion granules – 8p, Tesco
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard – 1p
  •  4 heaped tbsp nutritional yeast – 70p. local shop

Preheat the oven to 200C.

To make the BBQ layer, fry up the onion, pepper, garlic and mushrooms until soft. Add the mince and spices and fry for 3-4 minutes. Add the sauce and water, and stir until well absorbed (5-6 minutes).

To make the cheezy sauce, melt the butter in a pan, and slowly add the flower to form a ball of ‘paste’. Then slowly add the milk, whisking to avoid lumps. Whisk in the garlic, onion, mustard and yeast. Bring to the boil for around 1 min, constantly stirring, then remove from heat.

To assemble the gratin: split the mince mixture between 2 ceramic dishes and press flat. Carefully spoon some sauce on top and spread. Do not be overgenerous – this recipe makes the bare minimum amount of sauce! Layer up the potato and veg slices, reserving a small number of potato slices for the top. Add more sauce, leaving just a tbsp or so in the pan. Decoratively add your final potato slices, drizzle with the remaining sauce, and top with a pinch of nutritional yeast or some breadcrumbs. Bake at 200C for approx 30 minutes.

gratin uncooked

How did you save money today?

B x


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