Mince makeover: Clem’s top mince rules

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Mince makeover: Clem’s top mince rules

What if we told you that you’ve been looking at mince the wrong way? While many of us may simply see minced meat, our resident comfort food king Clement Pedro sees tiny steaks packed with tons of flavour

What most people get wrong when cooking mince is that they end up steaming it, rather than caramelising it. How? By overcrowding the pan. Overcrowding is public enemy number 1. This not only applies to meat, but vegetables (such as mushrooms), too.

My general rule when caramelising?
The crust is a must.
If it’s grey, it’s a nay.
If it’s off -white, it ain’t right.
If it’s black, it’s whack.
But when it’s golden brown, it’s time to chow down.

How to caramelise mince properly:

• Heat 2 T canola oil in a pan over a high heat, break the mince into chunks and drop it bit by bit into the pan in small pinches.
• Do not add the whole lot and break it apart using a wooden spoon. Adding a little at a time may take a little longer, but the end result is well worth it.
• Cook the mince undisturbed for about 1 minute, allowing it to render out some of its fat and to develop a crust while caramelising.
• Stir and cook the other side in the same way.
• Be patient, if it needs a little more time to develop that crust, let it cook for longer. Remove from the pan.
• Cook the remainder of the mince in batches in the same pan, ensuring that the pan isn’t overcrowded.

Now that you have perfectly cooked mince, you have the culinary world at your fingertips. And I’m in the mood for some chilli con carne!

Add 1 T canola oil and 2 roughly chopped shallots or 1 roughly chopped onion to the same unwashed pan (you want the leftover flavour of the mince). Add a pinch of salt, allowing the shallots to soften quickly and help you deglaze the pan. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon or spatula.

Once most of the brown goodness has lifted from the bottom of the pan, add 6 roughly chopped garlic cloves and 1 t smoked chilli flakes. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the garlic is cooked and the onions are browned. Add 1 heaped T ground coriander, 1 T ground cumin, 2 t chilli powder and 2 T smoked paprika. Cook for 1 minute, then add 2 T tomato paste and the mince.
Stir to combine the ingredients, then add ½ cup of your favourite BBQ sauce, 3 T Worcestershire sauce and 1 T brown sugar.

Add a cup of water and increase the heat to high. Allow the mixture to reach a simmer as it thickens.
Once the mixture reaches the desired consistency, add 1 can drained and rinsed kidney beans and a handful of roughly chopped coriander.

Remove from the heat and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then stir through 3 T chipotle Tabasco sauce.

Serve with nacho chips, in a baked potato or in a tortilla wrap.

It will be delicious and there will be mess.

Also try these delicious mince recipes:

Beef meatballs and linguine with roast peppers and basil

Bolognese with gnocchi

Brinjal-and-beef mince curry

Turkish-style beef cake

Beef and cauli mash shephard’s pie

Clement Pedro Article by: Clement Pedro

Clement Pedro strikes a balance between rib-sticking fare you can really get stuck into and experimental recipes that take accessible ingredients to next-level status. Clem can do pretty much anything – and so can you with his recipes.

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