There are some nights when the cupboards seem bare and recipe inspiration is lacking so on these occasions, I like to throw caution to the wind and prepare a family meal with whatever I can find in the pantry without having to pop to the supermarket. On such occasions, my choice of protein is always the humble but versatile mince and by always having a pack in the freezer, I know I will always have a meal on hand.
Mince is the perfect vehicle to take on a myriad of different flavours and can really be made into a meal without following any set recipe. It can be a fun challenge in the kitchen to add ‘whatever’ you have on hand to the most versatile of cuts.
By adding grated vegetables, a tin of tomatoes and topped with creamy mashed potato, a humble mince mix is transformed into a family classic – Shepherd’s Pie. I made this last night for my family using up all the sad looking vegetables in my fridge which took on a new lease of life once grated and chopped. Lashings of mash blanketed the mince, with a sneaky layer of cheese and after our family of four all had a helping there was plenty left over for mince on toast the next day for lunch.
If you have no potatoes on hand, how about adding some curry powder to the mince and serving it over rice; or add some chilli beans and serve with corn chips; or simply dollop large amounts of savoury mince on to crusty bread rolls, top with cheese and melt under the grill. Adding your favourite cooked pasta and some mushrooms and sour cream would turn your mince into a stroganoff style meal and of course mince can be shaped into balls or patties, pan fried and served with fresh salad ingredients inside pita pockets or between burger buns.
So what's your favourite flavours and ingredients to add to mince to make it your own?