Thursday, September 13, 2012

Quick, Easy & minced beef, turkey, lamb, pork…

Minced meat has to be one of the most versatile of ingredients,  its very easy to cook with, easily absorbs flavours and can cook for a long period or a shorter quick cook without loosing flavour or texture… 

Tip:  Buy good quality lean minced meat – use within 24,hours of purchasing an if you are going to freeze cooked product do so within 24 hours to keep the flavours..

Some of my tried and tested favourites..

Last nights dinner @ my house – Asiany Turkey Mince roll ups.. babycorn, sugarsnaps, beansprouts, chilli, garlic, coriander splash of soy & teriyaki beansprouts & iceberg..

A Mexican variation using Turkey mince either for nachos, or tortillas…  fry off with garlic, chilli, cumin, coriander, add the turkey mince and a few chopped fresh tomatoes with coriander… 

Asian Turkey patties… Fab flavours of kaffir lime leaf and lemongrass….  Turkey mince, egg, kaffir lime leaf, lemongrass, garlic, chilli … mix up and form little patties..Pan fry and transfer to the oven to finish for 10 mins.

Serve with a Asian salad, beansprouts, grated carrot and cucumber with sweet chilli fres lime coriander dressing

and more.....

Minced pork or a mixture of minced pork and beef make very tasty meatballs…. Add a bit of spice or herbs to mixture.
Minced Lamb very tasty burgers, meatballs,  Lamb lasagne with feta, chilli & olives.. & of course I love this  fab moussaka…

I got this idea from a friend of mine I worked with while living in Australia (many years ago)  her family were originally from Macedonia and this is a variation of their Friday night meal.  At the end of a working week the extended family would come together to eat and share stories …

This one has lots of aubergines, minced lamb, potatoes, topped with natural yoghurt mixed with 3 eggs sprinkled with breadcrumbs and baked till just bubbling hot…

Serve with a salad….

Chilli Beef in nachos, tacos, wraps, or jacket potatoes, vary it with different topping for example salsa, cheese, guacamole, lime juice, coriander.

Meatloaf – spice it up with chilli or add some fresh herbs and serve with tossed salads.

Cottage pie – top with carrot & parsnip mash or potato & parsnip with horseradish

Lasagne  - forget the béchamel and use cottage cheese & fresh basil pesto.

Meatballs, serve with a tomato & basil sauce, arabiatta or do them Moroccan style add some ground cumin, coriander & chilli serve with couscous
Last Night’s Dinner @ my house…

Asiany Turkey Mince Roll ups…

500g Turkey mince – lovely and lean
6is Baby corn chopped
1 handful Sugar snap peas
3 handfuls of mushrooms
1 red pepper cubed into small pieces
1 red chilli chopped very finely
2 cloves of garlic chopped very finely
1 red onion chopped very finely
Small piece of ginger
1 bunch of coriander chopped
3 handfuls of beansprouts
8 iceberg lettuce cups
Couple of  Splash of soy & teriyaki sauce
Splash or spray of oil

Heat a wok, add the onion, pepper, chilli, garlic& ginger cook for 3 mins, add the mince stir fry with a splash of soy and teriyaki, add half the coriander, cook for 5 mins. Meanwhile  Steam the chopped baby corn for 5 mins, chop the sugar snaps into small pieces add to the mixture with the baby corn , stir to combine cook for another 5 mins add the remaining coriander with another splash of soy & teriyaki.

Pop the beansprouts on top of the mixture just as you are about to serve.. combine and pop mixture into a bowl.  Serve in cups of iceberg… roll up and eat… just delicious!!

 Sophie’s Macedonian Moussaka

500g minced lamb
500g natural yoghurt
3 raw eggs
2 red onions finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1 glass of red wine
2 large aubergines in big cubes
4 rooster potatoes sliced
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
1 large handful of basil

Fry the aubergine in oil remove and place on kitchen paper.
Heat a little oil and cook the onion & garlic for 3 mins, add the mince cook until browned add the wine and tomatoes cook for 10 mins, pop the aubergine and basil into the mixture and bring to a simmer.
Meanwhile Steam the rooster potatoes for 5 mins just to remove the big bite…  

Combine the yoghurt with the eggs..  Layer the lamb mixture with potatoes and top with the yoghurt mixture on top…. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake for 45 mins @ 190… serve with a green salad… 

Homemade Burgers…

Everyone loves a good homemade burger…  here’s a few variations that will satisfy everyone..

Basic ingredients..

500g minced good quality beef,  1 egg, 1 handful of fine breadcrumbs, salt & ground pepper.
(you don’t have to use breadcrumbs, however do pop them into the fridge for at least 30 mins to set before cooking)

This is a simple plain recipe however, you could top with melted cheese & bacon or why not top with a little with mixed pepper sauce..

These variations will keep everyone interested..

Mexican – 1 teasp chilli powder, 1 handful of coriander, juice of 1 lime

Italian inspired – add some sunblushed tomatoes,
basil pesto into the mixture

Aisany – grate ginger, garlic & sweet chilli sauce into the mixture

Spanish – chopped chorizo sausage & carmelized red onions

Delicious Chilli Beef..

This chilli con carne is ready to go in the pan in a few mins.. then it will bubble away happily until dinner time


500g good-quality beef mince
1 glass of red wine
onions, diced
garlic cloves, crushed
carrots, diced
celery sticks, diced
2 red peppers, diced
1 heaped tsp chilli powder
1 heaped tsp ground cumin
1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 x 400g/14oz can red kidney beans, drained
2 x 400g/14oz cans chopped tomatoes

To serve
sour cream
chopped fresh coriander leaves
lime wedges

Preparation method

Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan over
a medium heat. Add the mince and fry until golden-brown all over.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a saucepan over a medium to high heat. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, celery and peppers and fry until softened.
Add the chilli powder, cumin and cinnamon and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Fry for a further 4-5 minutes, stirring well.
Remove the mince from the pan using a slotted spoon and add to the vegetable mixture.
Add the drained kidney beans and the chopped tinned tomatoes and bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering, then half-cover the pan with a lid and simmer for about an hour, stirring every now and again to stop it from catching on the bottom of the pan.
To serve, ladle the chilli into four serving bowls. Drizzle over the soured cream. Sprinkle with the chopped coriander. Garnish with the lime wedges and serve with nachos or steamed  alongside

Penne Pasta with Meatballs & Tomato Sauce

500g beef minced
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 red onion chopped finely
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
Sprinkle of chilli flakes (if you like spicy food)
1 cup of breadcrumbs
1 carrot grated
2 eggs beaten
Olive oil
2 tbsp of warm water

500g Penne Pasta

Tomato Sauce

2 cans of tomatoes 
2 cloves of garlic
1  red onion finely chopped
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 glass of white wine
Sprinkle of chilli flakes (only if you like spicy food)
1 handful of chopped basil

Cook off the onion and garlic for a few mins, then add the wine and cook for 3 min, pop in the tomatoes,& chopped basil.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 mins.


Place the mince, tomato puree, egg, onion mixture breadcrumbs, carrot and warm water into a large bowl and mix well with your hands.

Using your hands shape the meat into bit sized meatballs, roll in flour and place on a tray while you finish rolling all the shapes.

Cook the meatballs on a hot pan in small batches until browned.  Keep warm in the oven while cooking the remaining meatballs.. 

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on pack.
Pop the meatballs into the hot tomato sauce mixture for 15 mins until cooked through..  serve scattered with fresh basil & grated parmesan cheese.

Oven baked Lasagne

Using cottage cheese instead of béchamel


500g lean beef mince
onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, seeds removed, finely chopped
2 generous handfuls of chopped mushrooms
1 tbls of tomato purée
1 large glass of red wine
10 fresh basil leaves shredded
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
salt and freshly ground pepper
Approx 15 dried pasta sheets
300g cottage cheese
150g/5oz grated mozzarella cheese
Olive oil to cook..

Preparation method

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and grease a medium sized oven proof baking dish.
Heat a dash of oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over a high heat. Fry the mince until browned all over. Remove the mince from the pan.
Add another dash of oil to the pan over a medium heat. Gently fry the onion, peppers and mushrooms until soft.
Add the mince back into the pan together with the tomato purée and wine.  Cook for a further five minutes.
Add the tomatoes and herbs, and bring to the mixture to the boil. Simmer for at least 30 minutes and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Line the base of the baking dish with pasta and cover with about one-third of the mince mixture.  Pop  teaspoonfuls of cottage cheese evenly across the mince, using up about 1/3 of the cheese.

Repeat this in layers once or twice depending on the size of your dish…finally cover the lasagne with the grated mozzarella. Bake in the over for 45 minutes, or until golden-brown and bubbling on top.  Serve with a fresh baby leaf salad.. enjoy..

Best Shepherds Pie


1 large onion chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
500g beef mince
400g can tomatoes
290ml beef stock
bay leaf
fresh thyme leaves from 1 sprig
2 tbsp tomato purée
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the topping
8 potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 cup of milk
1 tablespoon of butter
Olive Oil for cooking
Preparation method

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and carrot and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes until soft.

Add the minced beef and cook for 3 minutes to brown.
Add the tomatoes, purée, beef stock, bay leaf and thyme.
Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Season.

Meanwhile, to make the topping, boil the potatoes, carrots and parsnips in water until soft. Drain and mash with the butter and milk.
Spoon the meat into an ovenproof dish. Top with the mash and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.

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