Essential Bolognese batch cooking at 63p per portion

by Northern Life

bologneseI always try to have some Bolognese in the freezer, divided into portions. It gives me a day off when I’m sick of cooking or have run out of shopping money. This recipe is for 20 adult size portions.

  • 3 x 750g packs of budget fresh mince
  • 8 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 3 large onions
  • 1 bag carrots
  • 4 sticks celery
  • 3 stock cubes
  • Oil for frying

bologneseServed with rice or with pasta.


Chop 3 large onions and fry gently in a little vegetable oil until soft.

Add three stock cubes; beef, chicken or vegetable, stir.

Put the 3 packs (3 x 750g) of mince in the pan and turn up heat to brown.

Fry for about 10 mins, until all the liquid has evaporated. breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon or spatula.

Put 8 tins of chopped tomatoes in a large pan and bring to the boil.

Add mince and onions to the tomatoes.

At this point I like to add spices but these are entirely optional. My favourites are fennel seed, paprika, celery salt and garlic powder.

Next, grate a bag (about 10) of carrots and either 4 sticks of celery or a courgette. Fry until soft then add to the tomatoes/mince.

Simmer for at least 40 minutes and up to an hour and a half until everything is soft. Add salt if needed.

bologneseWash and dry the plastic containers that the meat came in. When the Bolognese is cooled, ladle into the 3 containers before wrapping in cling film to freeze. Each one will hold enough for 5 big portions and leave you with enough in the pan to provide your first meal for 5.

Remove from freezer to defrost before reheating to piping hot.

Serve with pasta; mix with tinned kidney beans and chilli powder to make chilli con carne; fill wraps, fold and fry to make quesadillas.