Sunday, 15 May 2011

(My Very Own) Savoury Mince

Savoury Mince

Grocery shopping with a toddler and a ten month old is difficult, as any mother of young children will tell you. While I used to enjoy getting out to the supermarket with my eldest it's a logistical nightmare now. I can't fit enough items in the pram and double seated trolleys are an endangered species. So I have to wait until Mr P. is around, but then I find it all too easy to put off this chore because, really, I have better things to do on the weekend, you know? But invariably that means that I get to the start of another week and there is hardly anything in the cupboard for dinner, and so the scrounge begins!

Last week Mr P. had a couple of meetings on after school (he's a teacher) so he wasn't able to grab 'a couple of things' on the way home, which is how I often survive when we haven't done a proper shop. So we had a few dinners which were the result of a scavenger hunt through the freezer, pantry and crisper. When we got to friday I found a small amount of mince and not much else. So then I thought 'That's it! I'm going to make up my own recipe' (how very chefy of me!).

The result was not bad at all. In truth, the concoction I came up with was really a mish-mash of a number of things I've cooked before - tomato pasta sauce, bolognese and savoury mince. But I looked at the options in my cupboard and chose them myself, trying to think about what went together and how much to add. I definitely prefer to follow a recipe, but it's nice to know that, at least in a pinch, I can put something edible on the table (and this is so much better than some other savoury minces I've had - not watery at all). And hey, the kids ate it so it couldn't have been so bad!

What do you think I could do differently to make this savoury mince better?

Savoury Mince
Serves 2 adults and 2 small children

1 clove garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
250g mince
2 T dijon mustard
1 T dried oregano
1 T tomato paste
2 T worcestershire sauce
2 tsp chicken stock paste / 1 chicken stock cube
1 can diced tomatoes
generous handful frozen peas/beans
small tin corn kernels
1 T instant gravy powder

Heat a deep frying pan / chef's pan over medium heat. Cook the garlic and onion until softened. Add the mince and brown. Stir in mustard, oregano, tomato paste, worcestershire sauce and chicken stock paste, and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently.

Add canned tomatoes and vegetables, and bring to the boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer until sauce has thickened. Stir in gravy powder and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Season. Serve with bread or mashed potato.

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