Sainsbury’s have been listening. Late last year they conducted a whole bunch of customer research and a loud, clear message came through: please help us families keep to a budget. The result is a 7 day meal plan that feeds a family, 3 meals a day, for £50.
Along with a clutch of savvy bloggers I was invited to Sainsbury’s HQ for the launch of this meal plan. We some of the food and they explained how they wrote these plans: it would be dead easy to feed your family like this bu flooding it with cheap frozen crap and the odd ready meal, but that’s not their approach. The plan involves freshly cooked food every day, with 80% of your daily allowances (allowing 20% for drinks ‘n’ snacks) and hitting your 5 a day to boot. It’s admirable that they can hit all these targets and get to the magic £50 too.
In reality the planner gives you very tasty dinners but your breakfasts and lunches are repetitive. Expect sandwiches by the ton. Another slight downer is the wintry feel to the menu; when I raised this with them they put this down to writing the plan in February for something launching in June.
That said I can’t help but feel mean for throwing stones at such a decent stab at the idea. You get the real sense this project is a labour of love, and to include a roast dinner amongst all the food is cheering. I gave the roast pork a go, which was perfectly nice. It’s not quite the way I do roast potatoes, but they’ll do.
As a further bonus, if you film yourself trying the plan you may find yourself on TV!
Roast pork (serves 4):
1kg pork shoulder slow roasting joint
1.25kg potatoes, cut into small chunks
500g carrots, peeled & sliced
500g frozen broccoli florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon plain flour
400ml beef stock (½ x stock cube)
1 teaspoon mustard
- Preheat the oven to 220ºC, fan 200ºC, gas 7. Place the pork in a large roasting tin and brush with the oil. Cook for 30 minutes, then turn down the heat to 190ºC, fan 170ºC, gas 5.
- Add the potatoes to the pan and cook for 1 hour, 15-30 minutes until the pork is cooked and the potatoes are crisp.
- Remove from the oven. Place the pork and potatoes in a serving dish and keep warm.
- Meanwhile, cook the carrots in a large pan of boiling water for about 4 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, until the veg are tender. Drain and keep warm.
- To make the gravy pour off all but 2 tablespoons of pork juices left in the roasting pan. Place on the hob, stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and gradually add the beef stock, stirring. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring in the mustard.
- Carve the pork and serve with the roast potatoes, vegetables and gravy. Keep the leftover pork to use in sandwiches.