I was very pleased with how this turned out, both in terms of taste and also cost, so here it is.
Ingredients to make 14 portions (my size portions which aren't huge)
500g mince (Lidl: £1.59) - 1.59
100g each of frozen peas, corn and mixed veg (Aldi) - 30p
2 bags mirepoix (home made and frozen so bit of onion, carrot and celery in proportion 2:1:1) - 20p
50g red lentils - 12p
50g oats - 2p
can chopped tomatoes - 25p
can baked beans - 25p
2 stock cubes - 6p
garlic puree - 5p
tomato puree - 20p
herbs, seasonings - I used mixed herbs, pepper and a bit of salt but not much because the stock cubes and the baked beans were already salted.
The mince was not low fat so first of all I slowly browned the mince in an oven proof pan to release the fat. Then I added the mirepoix, corn, mixed veg and peas and sauteed, stirring frequently.
Then in went everything else with another canful of water. I brought up to a pol, put on the lid, covered it with foil (the lid has steam holes) and popped the lot in a very gentle oven (about 140C) to bubble gentkly away while I went out.
When I got back the house was fragrant! I gave it all a stir, turned up the oven, added a bit more water and gave it another hour, checking and stirring to prevent catching.
Then I checked the seasoning. Tasty!
Once it was cooled, I ladled it into plastic pots, one good ladleful per pot as that's a portion for me. I was absolutely delighted to discover that it gave me 14 pots. So I did the maths (thank you, calculator) and each portion came to under 22p which I have rounded up.
There's not loads of meat, I know, but with the lentils and the beans as well, it will be fine and there are loads of vegetables.
I will use it to make all sorts
cottage pie, crumble, pasty, topping for pizza, chilli, spag bol, pasta bake, pie, topping for jacket potato, curry, calzone, canelloni, etc.