Mince, whether beef, ostrich, chicken, pork or lamb, is one of the most versatile ‘cuts’ of meat you can find and features in just about every cuisine around the world, from Italian (meatballs) to Mexican (baked beef and bean burritos), French (steak tartare), Middle Eastern (baked kibbeh) and Asian (minced pork salad). And of course South African (bobotie). Spaghetti bolognese is still one of my absolute favourite staples. The other day we added a small jar of Woolies olive tapenade to our bolognese sauce and it lifted it to a whole new level.
I’m sure you get just as bored with the same old thing as I do. After work yesterday I found myself looking vacantly at the shelves without an inkling of what to make for supper. My son mentioned wraps, and I thought, not again!
But I was inspired by his hint, and thought I’d make a ‘wrap bake’. After frying off some mince in chopped onion, garlic and cumin, I added a jar of tomato salsa and a can of drained whole corn.
Then, using a round baking dish, I layered the mince mix with cheese between Woolies’ gorgeous tortilla wraps, finishing it off with some more cheese.
After baking for 20 minutes at 180°C, it was bubbling and golden. I served it with fresh coriander, sliced avo and some yoghurt. Sour cream would have been better but I didn’t have any.
USING PORK OR CHICKEN MINCE
Pork and chicken mince are now quite freely available, are lighter than beef and cook really quickly. Stock up and when you’re next stuck for what to make for supper, try one of these easy ideas:
1. Roll pork or chicken mince into tiny balls and poach in coconut milk flavoured with curry paste. Add some baby tomatoes, halved mushrooms and some green beans or mangetout and serve with fragrant rice or Asian noodles.
2. Stir fry some chicken mince with fresh garlic, ginger and chilli. Add soya sauce and some chicken stock. Heat through and thicken with a touch of cornflour mixed into a paste using cold water. Add some steamed baby spinach and enjoy with Jasmine rice.
3. Stir fry pork mince with garlic and ginger. Add chopped coriander, a dash of fish sauce and some sweet chilli sauce. Toss into cooked glass noodles and eat as a summery cold salad.
IDEAS FOR USING LEFTOVER MINCE
When making a mince dish, double-up your ingredients and freeze half of it. You can easily use it to rustle up a hearty meal when unexpected guests arrive.
1. Roll out some puff pastry (Woolies’ is best) and spread your mince mixture over. Roll up and brush with beaten egg. Pop on a baking tray. Make a few cuts across the top and bake for 30 minutes at 180°C until golden and puffed up. This is delicious with creamy coleslaw.
2. Cut out circles from a sheet of puff pastry and fill one side with a little mince. Dampen the edges with beaten egg and fold over. Press down to seal and brush top with some egg. Place on a baking tray and bake for about 20 minutes at 180°C.