As a bloke who has to try and feed himself well with as little money as possible, here's a recipe some of you might enjoy. It's not really the time of year for it, but it can also be adapted to a pie or pasty filling. It will keep for a week unrefrigerated (if you have a strong immune system!) but I recommend freezing what you can't eat immediately.
Here's what you need:
Diced beef - about 800g
Mushrooms - about 500g, quartered and woody stems trimmed
Smoked streaky bacon - one pack, snipped into tiny pieces
White onions - 2 large, diced or sliced thinly
Carrots - 2-3 large, peeled and sliced thinly
Celery - 2-3 sticks, finely diced (optional)
Leeks - 1 huge one, sliced thinly
And for the sauce:
One tin chopped tomatoes
Beef stock cubes
Marmite (optional but highly recommended)
Dried mixed herbs
Toss the beef and bacon in a bag full of flour, and fry in the bottom of the stew pot, in a small amount of oil until browned.
Throw in all the veg and soften in the fat/juice that's come out of the meat. Stir until coated in it and cook with the lid on over a medium heat, stirring occasionally.
While that's cooking down, boil about a litre of water, and mix 2 stock cubes in with it, along with 3/4 tablespoon of Marmite.
Throw it in the pot, and the tomatoes too.
Stir well, add generous amounts of white pepper and herbs.
Stick the lid on, simmer, and find something fun to do.
This will take a long time to cook properly and is always better the next day. Taste and adjust seasoning and feel free to add any others you enjoy.
Best eaten with large amounts of bread and cheese!