Could you come up with a meal for at least two people for under £3? That’s the challenge set by the leading food charity The Trussell Trust in partnership with Buyagift with the aim of raising awareness of just how difficult it can be to eat well on a limited budget.
I managed to come up with a dish but it wasn’t easy, and I really wouldn’t want to have to work with this budget every mealtime. But for so many people in this country, it is the reality they face each and every day. While the UK might be the seventh richest country in the world, many people here struggle to put food on the table.
You can help raise awareness of the work of The Trussell Trust and the urgent need for us as a nation to tackle food poverty by taking part in the challenge and coming up with your own recipe. You can also visit the charity’s website for more ways to support their work, from donating to your local foodbank to raising money for them as you do your online shopping.
For my dish I decided to use liver as it is relatively inexpensive. Obviously a vegetarian pasta dish would have been cheaper still, but I wanted to see if I could manage a meat dish on this tight budget. I managed to buy 370g of lamb’s liver from my local butcher for just £1.48 and I only used half of it. A little liver goes a long way.
OK, so not everyone likes liver but I’m sure that’s because it’s generally been overcooked when they have tried it. In this dish it is sliced very thinly and fried for only a few minutes, so it is beautifully moist and tender. My husband doesn’t normally eat liver but he enjoyed this. Plus it was cooked in a very generous amount of butter, with lots of chilli, garlic and sage, so absolutely packed full of flavour. It actually tastes quite luxurious despite the cheap ingredients.
Tagliatelle with lamb’s liver and a sage, chilli and garlic butter
Total spend: £2.21½
250g dried tagliatelle (47½p)
1 egg (24p)
170g lamb’s liver, thinly sliced (74p)
2tbsp olive oil (13p)
75g butter (36p)
1 red chilli, finely sliced (22p)
2 cloves garlic, crushed (5p)
6 sage leaves, finely chopped (free from the garden)
salt and pepper to taste
Cook the tagliatelle in salted, boiling water according to the packet instructions.
Beat the egg in a shallow dish, add the liver and coat well, and leave for a few minutes.
Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan over a low heat. When the butter has melted, add the chilli, garlic and sage and fry for a couple of minutes.
Drain the liver and add to the frying pan. Increase the heat to medium and fry for three to four minutes, turning frequently, until cooked through. Season to taste and remove from the heat.
Drain the pasta and add to the frying pan. Toss well to coat the pasta in the butter and distribute the pieces of liver. Serve immediately.
As well as entering this dish into The £3 Challenge, I’m also sharing it with The Spice Trail (where the theme this month is chilli), Credit Crunch Munch (hosted by Dinner with Crayons, Fab Food for All and Fuss Free Flavours), Cooking with Herbs (hosted by Lavender & Lovage) as it features fresh sage, and Pasta Please (hosted by The Spicy Pear and Tinned Tomatoes) as it contains garlic.