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Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Savoury Simmered Mince

500g beef mince

1 large onion, finely diced

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 pepper, diced (can be red, orange or yellow)

1 large sweet potato (or small pumpkin), diced

1 stick of celery, diced

250ml beef stock (using a low salt stock cube)

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp tomato puree

1 Tbsp English mustard

pinch mild curry powder

Large handful or two of frozen mixed vegetables

2 tsp cornflour and a little water.

Heat a small amount of oil in a large frying-pan, or use cooking spray.  Add the onion, pepper and garlic to the pan, cook it for about 5 minutes until the pepper has softened and the onion is transparent.  Add the mince and break it up into small bits as it browns.

Once there are no longer any pink pieces of mince, add the sweet potato/pumpkin, and celery.  Making sure that the pieces of vegetables are all roughly the same size to ensures they cook evenly.  Vegetables cut into cubes of about 1 cm work really well.  Sweat down the vegetables with the mince for 10–15 minutes.

You can then add the frozen mixed vegetables, and stock.  Simmer the mince and vegetables until all the vegetables are tender.

Mix the cornflour with a little water to make a paste, then add a little at a time to the mixture. stirring it thoroughly until the mixture is as thick as you want it to be.  The flavours develop more if you store the mince in the fridge and eat it the next night for dinner.  Perfect for if you're batch cooking on the weekend for later in the week.

Serving Suggestions

You can use this mince for cottage pie (just top with mashed potato and grated cheese, then put under the grill for a bit to melt the cheese), put it in a pie dish and top with either flaky or shortcrust pastry for a large family sized mince pie, make a cobbler topping using scone dough recipe then put in the oven until the topping is cooked, serve it on thick wholemeal toast, pour it over cross cut baked potatoes, there serving suggestions are almost endless.

If I have some of this leftover I either freeze it in individual portions for emergency dinners/lunches, or add some leftover cooked rice (or a cooked pouch or two of microwaved rice) to bulk it out so we get another meal out of it.  Sometimes I add some sauteed mushrooms and make individual pasties or savouries then freeze them for lunches or easy dinners.

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