Thursday, August 11, 2011

How 500g mince feeds my family for three nights..

Magical Mince!  Well, supposedly.  I'm actually not that creative with mince.  I'm sure there is a lot more I could do with it.  I know there are a lot of ideas on the $120 a fortnight challenge blog.  But this is an example of what I use it for and how I made one 500g packet of mince stretch to make us three filling meals.

With photos!!

So with my 500g mince this week I made hamburgers and chilli con carne.  These are some of the ingredients used (many of which you probably already have in your cupboard)

Remember, I am no photographer and also the fluro light has blown in the kitchen and we keep forgetting to get a new one, but anyhoo, you get the general idea.... salt and pepper, garlic, onion, mince, cumin, chillies, tomatoes (tinned) and beef stock.

And here we go with Hamburgers first up...

Place about 250g of your mince in a bowl and add half a very finely chopped onion, salt and pepper and a good slug of tomato sauce and a slosh of worcestershire sauce. (yes, you're right, this is terribly precise cooking)

Then mix it all together really well with your hands (wear disposable gloves if you are not a fan of handling raw meat).  I don't add bread or egg or anything like that.  I do if I'm turning this mixutre into rissoles though to bulk them out a bit more.  This is also where you can play with your flavours.  This is very basic but you can add extra herbs or spices, maybe some taco mix for mexi burgers, whatever floats your boat.

Once mixed, shape into flat patties and put into the refrigerator for at least an hour before cooking. This will help them to hold together.

When you are ready to cook, heat up a non stick frypan.  If you want bacon or onion on your burger then cook these first as the meat doesn't actually take too long to cook through.  While it's all cooking, toast your hamburger buns, chop up your salads and get ready to assemble.

PS - if you like cheese, put your slice on top of your burger patty in the pan a couple of minutes before you take it out so it gets all melty and delicious.


I find that the burger in itself is enough for me, but the King and the kidlets like to have oven chips on the side of theirs, so I usually serve them with that.


Chilli con Carne  (not at all traditional and very much based on the recipe in the AWW 21 day Wonder Diet book so it's actually quite good for you)

Heat up your pan and add a bit of olive oil, 1 onion (chopped finely - ooh yes, mine is not so fine, sorry, it made me cry) and 2 cloves of crushed garlic.  Cook, stirring, until onion softens.

Add your 250g mince to the pan and cook until browned, breaking it up so you don't end up with any big chunks of mince.

The pan is hot, so now my pictures are even more shonky because of bad light and heat haze! (not a photographer!!!!)

Add 2 teaspoons of ground cumin and 2 teaspoons of chilli powder and stir through until fragrant.

Throw in your can of undrained chopped tomatoes, 3 tablespoons of tomato paste and 1/2 cup of beef stock.  The mixture will look very liquid. Reduce your heat and let it simmer away until the liquid reduces and you end up with a thicker mixture.

Like this!  At this point, throw in 125g can of four bean mix (or plain red kidney beans if you prefer). Heat through.  I had forgotten to buy them so mine is sans beans.

You can use it straight away as is on rice with cheese grated over or as a nachos topping (which is of preference in our house).  If you use it as nacho topping you will have more than enough for two night's worth, so freeze half in a snap lock bag for another night.  It should also make enough for four adult serves to have on rice - depending on how big your family is, this may still be two nights worth (it is in our house).

For nachos, I place corn chips on a plate.  Spoon on the chilli con carne, top with grated cheese and sour cream, then shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, avocado and more cheese.  It is very filling!!!

Here 'tis..

I hope that gives you some ideas for what to do with mince and how you can make it stretch.  You don't need a lot when you are adding salads etc to your meals either.

Happy cooking!!

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