Minced beef, pork or lamb form the basis of many delicious dishes. I buy minced meat from my local butchers (Golsby Butchers in Eynsham and Michael Cain in Cumnor), whom I trust and know that what I ask for will be what I purchase. More than often they mince the meat in front of me, and depending on my recipe, I can choose whether it is coarsely, medium or finely minced. The more recently the meat has been minced, the easier it is to cook with and the safer it is from a food safety point of view.
One of the reasons I like cooking with mince is because the recipes are easy to double (or triple) up on; they freeze well and thus provide a delicious home made meal I can freeze and whip out for dinner when time is scarce.
The list of dishes is vast. Below are some suggestions and recipes (either my own, or from trusted experts!). The recipes can all be adapted to suit your budget / contents of your larder / taste.
- Bolognese sauce
- Beef meatballs with a rich tomato sauce
- Pork meatballs
- Lamb meatballs
- Home-made burgers
(Jamie style) (My style)
- Cottage pie
- Shepherds pie
- Minced beef and vegetable pie
- Stuffed aubergines, peppers, marrow
Suggestions for adapting the recipes:
- Add more vegetables to the recipes to bulk them out (decrease the amount of meat and serve the same number of people as per recipe, or just add veg to increase portion size or number of servings).
- Try adding vegetables not suggested in the recipe.
- If topped with mash, for example, try topping with pastry, sliced potatoes or mash made with other root vegetables.
- Don’t like aubergines? Layer your moussaka with sliced cooked potatoes or courgettes.
- Place a little surprise in the centre of your meatballs or burgers (cube of cheese, fried mushrooms, pesto, horseradish, sundried tomato paste, mango chutney)