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Best great budget recipes for 50% or less: Che’s suggestion for great char grilled sirloin steaks recipe

Photo: Char grilled sirloin steak

Photo: Char grilled sirloin steak

This is the end of the first month of our 2009 challenge – Best great budget recipes for 50% or less.

Danny has become an addict of the condemned food counter at Tesco. He drops by most evenings when he does the final post run in Newmarket. The clientele that are attracted to this mini mecca have gradually changed over the past few months.

“There were a very smart couple picking through the shelves this evening. There wasn’t much left. The man turned to me and announced, ‘The wolves have already been.’ He clearly didn’t  notice my pelt.”

Danny was encouraged to hone his wolf skills. Our 2009 challenge is to publish a series of recipes with ideas for transforming these budget priced ‘deluxe’ buys into something even better. We are thinking on our feet and learning too. Tonight Danny bought a large tub of previously frozen cooked mussels for 11p. He guzzled them with mayo as a starter as he cooked the steaks. If we had worked out a way to use cooked mussels he would have bought four tubs. And we’d have had a meal, rich in protein, minerals and vitamins for 44p plus additions.

Hopefully by the end of the year we will have enough tips and recipe ideas to match most of the ingredients that you might find on offer or dramatically reduced in price. And it’s not just our posts that will help. The comments posted by our visitors are often valuable as they add different perspectives, often share useful experience and increase the knowledge base on the site for everyone. I welcome any comment that will improve our recipes and ideas. Of course when people like our recipes, their comments are treasured. But we are all battling with hard times now. Any comment that will enhance a recipe or idea will be welcomed with open arms.

Yesterday DWolf found two sirloin steaks (finest premium Scottish) reduced from £7.20 to £1.44. Brilliant, as we have given up buying steak as it’s generally just too expensive.

This morning Che contributed a comment on our post How to cook the best tastiest pan-fried steaks recipe (for two) . He questioned our method and got us thinking. He also included a link to Delicious magazine’s How to cook the perfect steak. I was intrigued.

A few years we were given a deluxe Le Creuset cast iron griddle pan for Christmas. We were delighted with it but have never really put it through its paces as we didn’t really know how to use it. Finally we had been given a method that needed a griddle pan and we had steaks crying out to be eaten.
”Let’s try Che’s method tonight. We can use the Le Creuset griddle pan. These are really good steaks, have a deep colour and just the right sort of marbling.”

Apparently when you use the red hot griddle method you need to rub the oil and seasoning into the steaks rather than put it into the smoking griddle pan where it will burn. (this happened to us). Danny allowed 1.5 minutes each side and let the steaks rest for ten minutes in the plate warmer whilst he prepared his jus. The steaks were superb, the outside had a good char grilled flavour the inside was a perfect succulent medium rare steak. Danny’s jus was the perfect accompaniment. Thanks Che for the nudge and link. This improved our steak repcipe with one enormous leap. We will use our griddle pam from now on.

Best great budget recipes for 50% or less: Che’s suggestion for great char grilled sirloin steaks recipe

For tips, the method and the vital timings (blue/medium rare/well done) use Che’s link to Delicious Magazine’s How to cook the perfect steak.

Here are Danny’s twists:

Ingredients for the seasoning for two medium sized sirloin steaks:

  • 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • half tsp of freshly ground black pepper
  • quarter tsp of salt
  • quarter tsp of garlic granules (fresh garlic would burn and taste bitter)

Ingredients for Danny’s jus:

  • 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 15g of butter
  • 250ml of boiling water
  • 2 tbsp of red/white wine (optional). We have found that white wine is perfect with red meat.

When you have cooked and removed the steaks to rest in a warm place,  put all the ingredients into the steak pan and reduce the jus over a medium heat for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour over the steaks just before serving
Meal cost:
2 sirloin steaks    £1.44
2 portions of chips   £0.40
2 portions of petit pois
(half price offer)   £0.25
Other ingredients   £0.20
We also had a green salad:
A quarter Iceberg lettuce (20p CFC Tesco) £0.05
1 continental onion   £0.25
Lemon vinegar and olive oil  £0.10

Total cost per head   £1.34

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  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Belinda

    That sound like a wonderful recipe.

    I was amazed when D bought the mussels as we both over dosed on mussels in the early days of our relationship. It has been eleven years but whenever I mention mussels D becomes tight lipped and straight necked.

    Hopefully last week’s sojourn in the Tesco CFC has brought him back from the brink. If so we will be definitely trying your recipe – it sound scrummy. Thanks for dropping by.

  2. Hi there, cooked mussels brought to mind a dish I have always wanted to make from the cookbook “You Say Tomato” by Joanne Weir (mid 90’s I think)

    Its a casserole, sort of thing.. a basic tomato, onion & garlic sauce cooked until thick, add white wine, cooked & shelled mussels, herbs, put into casserole or gratin dish, top with crumbled feta cheese & bake until bubbling. Serve with crusty bread.

    My partner doesnt eat mussels but maybe for a party one day…

  3. Has anyone else noticed how many ding dinners are appearing on the condemned food counter. Does this mean that perhaps more folks are cooking from scratch? This morning when I went into Somerfield (I was really only pretending to shop so I could park my car free for half an hour)I thought my luck might be in as CFC was full but there was no real food there, lots of Ginsters pies and cream horns but nothing I could turn into a meal.

  4. Looking at frozen mince in a cut price butchers today the butcher behind the counter called out that it was cheaper fresh. I got 2 x 2kg bags for £6.00 which when I peeked at the price in the supermarket later was a real bargain. 1kg of it is slow cooking (between the wok & the slow cooker as there was too much for the slow cooker) hopefully making the cottage smallholder slow cooked cottage pie with lots of veg. The plan is to have some for tea & freeze the rest. We have an Asda nearby which is cheaper than Tesco (generally) but they are very poor at reducing items – I went in 1 morning & found a free range chicken dated that day, and being cheeky enough to ask if they would reduce it was told “No not yet”! I once accidentally bought some chicken breasts at 6pm only to find when I got home the sell by date was up that day & no reductions. I actually discovered this the next day when I opened the pack & was greeted by the pong!

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