Mince can be made into a myriad of meals, from Italian to African, American and Mexican. Here are a couple of tricks and tips to get it right.
Free-range beef mince creates absolutely delicious mince dishes. The meat is so good, you don't have to add a lot of flavourings and ingredients to it to create a magical dish.
So always buy free-range if you can (Woolworths is one of the few nationwide suppliers: they import their free-range beef from Namibia where the animals graze on fresh grass and are not administered growth hormone or antibiotics). Because the fatty acid profile of free-range beef is more favourable compared to regular beef, it's healthier for you.
The leanest mince is the best choice for hamburgers, bobotie, Shepard's Pie, chilli con carne and bolognese while the mid-range grades with a little more fat are good for meatballs, kofta and meatloaf.
Uncooked mince can be frozen for 2-3 months. Rather than freezing loose mince in the square shape as bought from the supermarket, lay it out flat to freeze. This allows the mince to freeze evenly and also to thaw evenly.
Use fresh mince or make sure your mince is properly defrosted (best is overnight in the fridge). If it isn't you'll get watery mince that doesn't brown nicely.
Break the mince up before adding it to the pan to ensure even browning.
Add your spices as you brown the meat, and if the mince is very lean, add a teaspoon of olive oil.
QUICK IDEAS WITH MINCE
A perennial favourite Stateside. Brown mince with onions, garlic, chopped red pepper and celery and seasonings such as chilli and/or oregano.
Add Worcestershire sauce, a splash of vinegar, pinch of sugar and some tomato sauce, mix well and serve on crusty Portuguese buns with a side salad.
Quick curried mince
Fry mince with onions and garlic, add 2 T curry paste, 150 ml beef stock, two cups of frozen peas and a tin of chopped tomatoes and mix together well.
Serve over cooked long-grain Basmati rice or tucked into ready-made rotis.
Chilli beef soup
Brown 100g minced beef with onions in a little oil. Add finely chopped carrots and brown some more. Add chopped chillies (to taste), S&P, one T tomato puree and 900 ml beef stock. Bring to the boil and cook for about 10 minutes.
Add 150 g pasta shells and cook until al dente. Thicken with 1 T cornflour mixed into a little cold water, cook through and serve with crusty bread.
GREAT RECIPES TO TRY