Just so versatile, my basic savoury mince recipe, along with plenty of meal ideas for ways to enjoy it…
* Originally published in 2013, refreshed in 2020
Over the festive season I was chatting to my sister-in-law about cooking-for-one. She is a university student, living on her own and headed back to campus next week.
This got me thinking about my favourite meals-for-one, as well as some of the more weird and wonderful things I ate as a student (due to time, budget, inclination to cook) – there was a time where I’d cook pasta, chop in tomatoes and cucumber, along with a teaspoon of mayonnaise and leftover sausage or chicken pieces and that would be dinner…
Once I got settled into the routine of university, I become much better at planning ahead and began to really enjoy cooking my dinners. I also become very fond of dishes I could cook and freeze to take the pressure off during exam time. My all time favourite is savoury mince – due to cost and practicality one of the few meat options I routinely ate. It is just SO versatile. Here is my basic savoury mince recipe and some ideas for ways to enjoy it:
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
- 500 g lean or extra lean beef mince
- 1 x (400g) tin chopped, peeled tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried oreganum
- 1 cup beef stock
- salt and pepper, to season
Heat oil and sauté onion and garlic until soft.
Add mince and cook until browned.
Add tomatoes, sugar, oreganum and stock. Season with salt and pepper.
Allow to simmer for as long as possible to infuse flavours. If the mince sauce becomes too dry, add a little water.
Serve or portion out and pack into freezer-proof bags/containers and freeze for another time.
Some Ideas to Use Your Mince:
- Spaghetti bolognese
- With zoodles or other veggie noodles
- Baked potatoes
- Toast topping (on its own or add an egg or some grated cheese)
- Chili con carne – add in tinned red kidney beans and 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
- Mince sandwiches
- Beef enchiladas
- Cook gem squash halves, remove the seeds, fill with mince and serve
- Pizza topping
- Sloppy joes
- Savoury pancakes filled with mince and mixed vegetables
- Wraps or pita filling
- Filling for stuffed peppers
- Turn into lasagne
- Add ¼ teaspoon cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg and turn into Moussaka
Ideas to Make your Mince go Further:
- Drained, rinsed tinned or cooked beans or lentils
- Dried, split red lentils – I usually add 75 – 80 g to 250 g of beef mince, you will need to add more water as it cooks but the lentils disappear into the sauce and give it a lovely thick dhal-like gravy flavour.
- Grated or finely chopped vegetables – try carrot, zucchini, aubergine or mushrooms (I particularly like portobellini’s but any will do).