American chef, author and TV personality James Briscione has come up with this plan for a week’s worth of meals which takes little planning, uses very few ingredients and – after the first day – can be made in no more than 15 minutes.
There’s no need to eat beef all week though (especially in light of recent research about the dangers of eating too much red meat). NHS guidelines suggest leftovers should be refrigerated and eaten within two days, so bung some portions in the freezer and pull them out as and when. Just make sure the meat’s fully defrosted and then warmed through before eating.
Cook Up A Big Rump Roast
Season a 2.25kg silverside with salt and pepper, then sear in a casserole on the stove. Add some beef stock and roast at 170°C/gas 3 till the internal temp is 63°C (about 40 minutes). Simmer the roast juice in a pan with some soy sauce till it thickens. Carve some slices and serve with the gravy, steamed broccoli and brown
rice or quinoa.
Smart move: Save time by buying fresh broccoli florets rather than a whole head. They’re a bit pricier, but don’t need chopping.
1. Add It To A Veg And Grain Bowl
In a bowl, mix a can of chickpeas, chopped cucumbers and spring onions, cherry tomatoes, lemon juice and instant couscous. Cube some beef, steam (our choice) or microwave it for 30 seconds and add it to the bowl. Top with store-bought or home-made tzatziki.
Smart move: Make your own easy tzatziki: add grated cucumber, garlic and dill to Greek yogurt. Made right (ie with lots of garlic), it’s very potent – don’t eat it on date night!
2. Shred It Into Time-Saving Spicy Tacos
Slice a section of beef (or shred it with two forks) and mix it with salsa and lime juice. Microwave for 30 seconds, then spoon onto warm tortillas. Top with chopped red onions and tomatoes, a few slices of avocado and fresh coriander.
Smart move: To check an avocado’s ripeness, pull the stem out. If you have trouble, it’s underripe. If it comes away easily and is green underneath, it’s ready to eat. If it’s brown, it’s seen better days.
3. Pack It Into A Decadent Sandwich
Sauté sliced onions, mushrooms, peppers and a little garlic in a saucepan. Thinly slice some beef, sprinkle with salt and pepper and add to the pan with a splash of beef stock or water and heat through. Brown a seeded bun under the grill, spoon the mixture inside and top with mozzarella (or provolone, which is harder to find), then grill again till the cheese melts.
Smart move: Slice mushrooms in an egg slicer. Clean your ’shrooms, lay them in the slicer (cut big ones in half first), invert it over a bowl and press – voilà, neat slices.
4. Concoct A Savoury Stew
Sauté chopped garlic and onions in a saucepan, then add a can of chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, chicken stock, lemon juice and pinches of pepper, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne and ginger. Bring to a boil and simmer for ten minutes, then add chunks of chopped beef and fresh parsley leaves.
Smart move: You can make rich beef broth quickly with a base like Better Than Bouillon. When added to water, this concentrated paste makes a stock that beats cubes any night. Try online stores like iherb.com or well-healthy.co.uk.
5. Create A Burrito Bowl
Sauté some onions and peppers in olive oil. Douse slices of beef in the hot sauce of your choice, add it to the pan and heat for about two minutes. Pour the mixture into a bowl and add chopped or cherry tomatoes, canned black beans, canned sweetcorn, chopped lettuce, rice (microwaved leftovers work well) and a squirt of lime juice.
Smart move: When slicing beef, make sure to cut it against the grain, so you bisect the long lines of the muscle fibres with the knife. This makes cuts like rump and chuck more tender.
6. Load It Into A Salad
Beef and salad make a great combo when Asian flavours are added. Combine soy sauce, a little sugar, some lime juice, rapeseed oil, chopped chillies, minced ginger, garlic and a dash of fish sauce. Cut thin slices of beef, add them to the sauce and serve with a salad of mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, red onion and cucumber. Top with fresh coriander and chopped peanuts, almonds or walnuts.
Smart move: Fish sauce is a favourite of many top chefs, who use it to give everything from hamburgers to marinades to roasted veg an umami flavor. Made from salted or fermented fish, it’s powerful stuff so use it sparingly till you know your comfort level.