Preparing dishes ahead of time and freezing them until they are required is a great way of “creating time” for yourself, so that hours normally spent cooking meals, can be used to do something else. It could be studies to upgrade your academic qualifications, an hour or two of physical exercise or simply rest to refresh yourself!

Pre-cooked meals should always be balanced and healthy. Beef and vegetable hot pot is one such dish. The beef provides protein, the potatoes, carbohydrates and the vegetables, vitamins and minerals.

Ingredients Serves 4-6

1 kg lean beef
1 kg potatoes
8 carrots 500g fresh peas
2 bunches spinach/ greens
8 small onions
4 leeks
2 cloves garlic
4 large tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 chicken stock cubes
1 tbsp Royco
2 tbsp maize flour
2 tbsp oil salt eeapllargTK

Method

1. Wash the peas and boil in a saucepan of water to which 1 tsp salt has been added, until cooked.
2. Meanwhile, wash beef, chop into medium-size cubes and put aside.
3. To prepare vegetables: Peel and cut onions into quarters, finely grate garlic and slice leeks into medium-size slices. Peel and cut carrots into thick slices and finely chop the tomatoes. Wash the spinach or greens thoroughly under running water to remove all the dirt and grit. Chop roughly. Peel, wash and cut potatoes into large cubes.
4. Mix the Royco with the flour and toss the beef in this mixture. Shake off any excess and save the left-over flour mixture. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and brown the meat on high heat for about 3 minutes, turning briskly to avoid burning. Reduce the heat and keep turning the meat, scraping the bottom of the pan as you do so.
5. Add the garlic and cook stirring for a few minutes, before adding the tomatoes. Give the mixture a good stir, cover the pan and cook scraping the bottom of the pan occasionally, until the tomatoes are cooked and beginning to brown, without burning.
6. Mix the left-over flour and Royco with a little water to make a watery paste without any lumps and add to the pan, stir well, add a little more water and continue cooking. Stir regularly and brown the mixture without burning it.
7. Add the tomato paste, crumbled up stock cubes and onions and cook stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan occasionally. Gradually add enough water to just cover the meat and cook covered, on medium heat, topping up the water when necessary, until the beef is cooked.
8. Add the potatoes, leeks and carrots and just cover with water. Continue cooking on medium heat until the potatoes are done.
Add the spinach/greens and cooked peas towards the end of the cooking. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for about 10 minutes adding a little salt if necessary. Cool completely before freezing.