On a budget but want your food to have the wow factor? There’s no need to spend lots of money when you have Tom Kerridge’s simple tips to hand…
Impressive food doesn’t need to cost the earth. By rethinking what you put in your shopping basket, how you cook food and figuring out ways to be as resourceful as possible, you can create stunning food without the Michelin-starred price tag. Chef Tom Kerridge shared his top cost-cutting tips with us.
Tom’s six ways to save money while cooking like a professional
1. Slow braising
Pick cheap cuts with bags of flavour. Cook them low and slow. Don’t buy individual chicken breasts – they’re a waste of money. Buy the whole chicken and learn to joint or carve it. Also try lamb shanks or collar of bacon.
2. Invest in a knife
Buy one fantastic knife. Choose one which feels nice in your hand that will last you forever. You might spend a few hundred pounds on one. It sounds like a lot of money, but that knife will last you for 20 years and you won't have to buy another so it’s a long-term investment.
3. Reinvent vegetables
Try whole-roasted, unfashionable vegetables, such as celeriac, cauliflower or romanesco. They naturally look big and bold and can make a great focal point, rather than just being something you stick on the side. Or go for something like sugar-roasted beets.
4. Use your cooking juices
Use juices and flavours from the pan. So when you cook something in a pan, instead of throwing the liquid away at the end, use it. If you’ve cooked bacon, for example, and removed it from the pan, add a little oil and vinegar and you have yourself an instant dressing, instead of using an extra salad dressing. Look for places you can find flavour from every element of your cooking.
5. Save alcohol until the end
Don’t cook with alcohol, only add it at the end. So if you want a beer gravy, put a little splash at the end and it’ll taste intensely of beer, rather at the beginning which will make it boil away.
6. Utilise your dry ingredients
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What do you think of Tom’s money-saving tips? Do you have any of your own to offer?