Cooking Minced Meat In Bulk
So, I have a new weekly chore. I make a big batch of something, freeze it in portions, and voila, three less evenings to worry about making supper…
I found this recipe on BBC Food, but adapted it to my needs (Increased measurements for a bigger batch, changed something here and there)
What you’ll need:
3 tbsp vegetable oil (I never measure… Used a few glugs…. lol)3 onions, peeled, chopped (I used 5 small onions)6 garlic cloves, chopped (used a few spoons of crusched garlic)1 tsp chopped fresh thyme (Substituted with a random herb mix)(Also added some Robertson’s BBQ Spice)
Heat half of the vegetable oil in a large pan over a high heat. Add the onions, garlic and herbs and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until softened and golden-brown. Turn off the heat and set the pan aside.
Heat half a tablespoon of the remaining oil in a separate pan over a medium heat. Add a third of the beef mince and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until browned.
Transfer the browned mince to the pan containing the onions, garlic and herbs.
Repeat the process twice more with the remaining oil and the remaining batches of mince. (NB: Overloading the pan will not speed things up because the pan will lose heat, so take your time.)
Return the pan containing the cooked mince and vegetables to a medium heat. Add the canned tomatoes and Worcestershire sauce and stir the mixture well to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
Meanwhile, crumble the stock cubes into a large heatproof jug and add 1 litre/1¾ pints of boiling water. Stir until the stock cubes have dissolved.
Add the stock to the beef and tomatoes mixture and bring to a simmer. Simmer for one hour, uncovered, or until the volume of liquid has reduced slightly and the sauce has thickened.
The braised mince can be eaten straightaway, served with rice or spaghetti.
To make cottage pie: Spoon half of the mince into a baking dish, top with about 750g/1lb 10oz mashed potato and bake at 190C/375F/Gas 5 for 30 minutes, until bubbling and golden-brown on top.
To make chilli: Stir a can of kidney beans in chilli sauce into half of the mince mixture and warm through. Serve with soured cream, tortillas and guacamole.
The remaining mince can be set aside to cool, then frozen or chilled in the fridge until needed (it can be kept in the fridge for up to three days).
I’ll be making cottage pie, with one of the week’s portions, BUT not with mashed potatoes as I do the low carb thing. So, I’ll be substituting the mash with cauliflower… Apparently it’s an actual, valid cooking practice… I will investigate and report back!
Easiest Lamb Ribs Ever
I made lamb ribs this Sunday. Sadly, no pics, but this recipe is so easy I doubt you’ll need any visual guidance.
1.5kg Lamb rib rack
Garlic gloves (I used 6)
Thyme (I used the dried variety)
Lemon juice (The original recipe called for grated lemon rind as well but I didn’t have a lemon…)
30ml Olive oil
Preheat oven to 150C. Place rib racks on oven tray and score meat with a sharp knife (I’ll be honest, I did not scoring)
Smash garlic and salt in a pestle and mortar until it’s a fine paste. Add thyme, lemon rind, juice and oil. Smash until it’s all liquidy (This is the best damn garlic/lemony sauce I ever made.) Leave some for later
Rub the garlic mixture over the ribs, and roast for approx 1 hour.
Serve with the remaining garlic paste.
I also made corn on the cob and roast potatoes to go with it.
I LOVE Gammon! In our house, it’s not a special meal thing. We have it on weekdays too.
Buy precooked gammon or boil for 3 hours the night before. Boil in water (must be covered completely; pineapple or orange juice can be added, and cloves. Personally, I don’t like cloves. DON’T ADD SALT unless you really really like salt)
Peel the outer layer of skin off. Just slip a knife under the skin at one end and score off. Make criss cross incisions on the remaining fat underneath. A clove can be inserted in each “square.” (Again, I skip the cloves part.)
THE SECRET TO CRISPY GAMMON:
Rub with freshly ground salt over the remaining fat. Not too much salt as the gammon is already salted.
THE SECRET TO YUMMY GLAZE:
Less is more! You can make a fancy glaze if you want, by melting marmalade or jam or some shit with some other stuff, but you’ll have to go search for that recipe else where.
Me, I take the easy, simplest way out (also the messiest, but that’s part of the fun. Especially when cooking with kids! Get them to do the next part.
Squeeze honey straight out of the bottle, either onto your hands or on the gammon, and rub all over. Next, dip your fingers into a mustard pot (preferably whole grain, but any mustard will do) and rub it all over the gammon.
And that’s all you need, make sure the honey mustard is evenly distributed, pop the gammon into the oven for 30 min (or an convection oven for 15 to 20 min) and VOILA!
Saltine Cracker Toffee
by Grandma Peterson
40 salted saltine crackers or enough to line your pan
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups milk chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips
(optional) 3/4 cup chopped pecans
*You can either use salted butter or salted saltines but not both. I used salted crackers and unsalted butter in this one.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Line saltine crackers in a single layer on the cookie sheet.
In a small pot combine sugar and butter and bring to a boil. Once mixture is at a boil, continue boiling for 3 minutes. Mixture should be a deep caramel color. Immediately pour over saltines and spread to cover crackers completely.
Bake at 400 degrees for 5 to 6 minutes. It will get all bubbly. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the top and let sit a couple of minutes to melt. Sometimes I melt the chocolate chips in the microwave for about 1 minute then spread it on. Spread melted chocolate and top with chopped nuts if desired. Cool completely and break into pieces.
Home made pie
- 250g cake flour
- 5ml salt
- 200g butter/margarine
- 150ml iced water
- 5ml lemon juice (optional)
Sift the cake flour and salt together. Grate the butter over the flour mixture, constantly sprinkling flour over the butter as you grate.
Mix the water and lemon juice, sprinkle liquid evenly over the flour and butter mixture and cut it in with a spatula. Roll the pastry out once on a well-floured surface.
Fold the pastry over in thirds to make a long rectangle. Press the outer edges firmly to retain the air folded in. Starting at one short end, once more fold the pastry over in thirds. Press the outer edges firmly.
Cover the pastry with waxed paper and refrigerate for at atleast 1 hour. Roll the pastry out until 1.5mm thick. Use as needed. Bake in a preheated oven at 200C (400F) until golden brown.
- 37.5ml margarine
- 25ml cooking oil
- 1 kg stewing beef, cubed
- 2 onions, chopped
- 4 carrots, coarsely grated
- 25ml cake flour
- 300ml meat stock
- 1 large tomato, peeled and chopped
- 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
- 5ml black pepper
- salt to taste
- 1 egg beaten with 15ml milk
Preheat oven to 160C. (325F)
Heat the margarine and oil in a sauce pan and fry the meat until browned. Add the chopped onions and grated carrots and fry for another 5 minutes. Stir in the cake flour and mix well. Gradually stir in the meat stock and continue stirring untile the mixture starts to boil.
Add the rest of the ingerdients, except the pastry and the milk & egg mixture, and mix well. Spoon into oven proof dish with lid (or cover with foelie) and bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until meat is tender. Allow to cool.
Increase the oven temperature to 200C. Line (preferably a seperate…) oven proof dish with rolled out pastry (I used one small round cake pan and a small rectangle bread pan). Spoon the meat on to the pastry, and cover again with rolled out pastry, pressing the edges down firmly with a fork. Be fancy and cut little leaf shapes in the pastry, or just poke holes in it with a fork. Brush with the egg and milk mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes. Goes well with pumpkin, stewed fruit or salad.