Blending vegetables into sauce like a sneaky little witch…

Well, Jon does call my cooking “Slavic witchcraft”, after all!

As an experiment to add some variety to our stews and sauces, I have begun using actual vegetables as the seasoning. And here is the result of one of my recipes. This one actually needed no salt, no sugar and no herbs or spices! Well, I did actually use some garlic, but nobody is perfect…


  • 1kg tomato passata or chopped tomatoes
  • 600g soured cream
  • 500g beetroot
  • 500g carrots
  • 300g sweet potato
  • 300g mushrooms
  • 200g cabbage
  • 500g mince
  • 200g chorizo
  • 250ml red wine
  • 1tbsp minced, pureed or diced garlic


  • chopping board and knife
  • large stew pot
  • blender


  1. Wash the vegetables.
  2. Peel and chop the beet, carrots and sweet potato.
  3. Chop the cabbage and mushrooms.
  4. Combine the chopped vegetables, tomatoes, soured cream, wine and garlic in the pot.
  5. Add water whilst stirring until everything is covered.
  6. Boil until the vegetables are soft. Take from the heat.
  7. Blend everything when cool enough. Do not melt your blender like an idiot (me) would.
  8. Add the mince and chorizo.
  9. Simmer until the meat is cooked and the flavours melt together.
  10. Serve over beans, rice or pasta.

The depths of flavour, the saltiness, the spiciness, the meatiness and the sweetness of this dish are undeniable. Yet without using any added salt, any chili peppers, any brines or rubs or any sugars to bring the flavours out! All this taste can be achieved through the magic of stewing and blending.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!


For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

Recipes. WWW and Mince Sauce.

I had it with rice, Dad had it with pasta, I didn’t follow a recipe and I’m not Italian, so it’s a “mince sauce”.

Also, apologies about the lateness of the wok and lack of photos. We were kind of busy, what with me leaving for the South later that day and Jon heading off to work as usual.

First: to prepare a jar of beans.


-200-300g of dried pulses

-250ml boiling water

-2tbsp salt

-1tsp paprika




1: Soak the legumes in cold water.

2: Add them to the jar.

3: Make sure the jar is only 1/2-2/3 full of beans.

4: Add the boiling water, salt and paprika. Fill to the brim.

5: Seal the jar as quickly and strongly as possible. Shake.

6: Leave for at least 2 days, at most 1 month.

Recipe 1: Hellmince Stew.


-750g hellmince

-500-600g potatoes

-3 large carrots

-5 small onions

-1 can/200-300g peas

-1 jar of soaked yellow peas and beans

-800-1000g tomato

-1tsp mustard



-mixed herbs


-chopping board and knife

-large pot

-stirring spoon


1: Slice the potatoes, carrots and onions.

2: Place the potatoes and legumes in the pot.

3: Cover with water and bring to the boil.

4: Add the tomato, carrots, onion and mince.

5: Stir it all in and make sure it’s covered.

6: Simmer for 20min. Add the herbs and spices.

7: Cook on a very low heat for another 45-65min.

[8: Jon likes to add curry powder to his, but I like mine plain.]

Recipe 2: Mince Sauce for pasta or rice.


-500g lean mince

-3 medium-large onions

-400g tomato

-1 tin/200g tomato concentrate/paste

-2 small carrots

-6-10 cherry tomatoes

-2 tbsp butter

-1tbsp garlic olive oil

-4 tbsp Italian seasoning




-deep pan

-stirring spoon


1: Finely dice the onion. Pan-fry in butter.

2: When the onion is clear, add the mince, salt and pepper. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and add them too.

3: Stir until the mince is browned. Add the Italian seasoning.

4: Chop the carrots, add the carrots and tomatoes.

5: Simmer for 20min.

6: Add some water, the tomato concentrate/puree and the garlic oil.

7: Stir-in well. Simmer for 25min.

8: Serve hot over rice or pasta.



So there’s the Wonderful Wednesday Wok dinner and the sauce I made for Dad. I will be adding the Wok pudding (spelt-based apple pie) next week, when I have the photos.

Until later, TTFN and happy hunting.