Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Hearty Mince

I'm not a chef. I'm not even much of a foodie. I could quite happily eat the same five meals between now and when I die and not really feel too worried about the situation. Which means that cooking gigantic vats of food to eat across the week really suits my temperament, as well as my schedule.

And there's something about this time of year, just after the clocks go back, that makes me feel all autumnal and jolly and quite in the mood to batch cook the crap out of something. So tonight I cooked..... well I'm never entirely sure what to call it. Is it a bolognese if you're not serving it on pasta? Is it a chilli if it has no kidney beans? I have no idea. So instead, I'm going to call it 

Hearty Mince

The first thing to note about making hearty mince is the invaluable nature of the sous chef. Mine is quite keen on veg preparation, but soon loses interest thereafter.

Murdoch loves raw carrot
There is no set recipe for this meal, not really. I look at what veg I've got in the fridge, pop to the supermarket to add what else I fancy and chop it up quite finely, as I don't like having big chunks of stuff in my food. This time round I had onion, garlic, leeks, chillis (with seeds left in for a bit of ooomph), carrot, courgette (not chopped in this picture as I ran out of room on the chopping board), fresh peas and edamame.

Chop veg finely. Or don't. It's your dinner, have it how you like.
Once you've got your veg ready to go, heat up a bit of butter (or olive oil) and chuck the veg in a big pan to soften on a low heat. I left the peas and edamame out at this stage, to be added later.

Probably at least fifteen of your "five a day"
Next, turn up the heat a bit and add some mince. I bought two large (750g) packets of extra low fat beef mince from Tesco and forgot to take a picture of it cooking, mostly because my pan isn't really big enough to accommodate that much meat, so there was quite a bit of unseemly swearing at this stage. Please imagine a picture of a metric fucktonne of beef mince browning off with the veg. Thanks. After it was all browned off, I drained it a bit, as there was quite a bit of liquid at this stage.

Starting to look quite tasty
Add some herbs, stock cube, salt and pepper (and if you fancy it, a spoonful of Marmite. But not coffee, as Sainsbury's seem to be suggesting. WTF Sainsbury's?! Give it a rest), some tomato purée and a couple of cartons of chopped tomatoes. Lower the heat again and let it bubble away for a bit.
Add the peas and edamame
Near the end of the cooking, I added the peas and the edamame. They only need a light steam, so best add them towards the end, otherwise you risk ending up with green mush.  I popped the lid on so that all of the steam stayed in and left it alone for about 10 minutes.

Everything tastes better with cheese on it. FACT.

This made eight nice sized dinners, which you could serve with pasta, rice, quinoa, couscous, veg or even eat just by itself. As you can see, I've popped some grated cheese on top to serve.

My final top tip is to decant into individual dinner sized containers, especially if you're a greedy bugger like me.  Then you have ready to go portions, rather than spooning gigantic helpings out of one big tub and wondering why it only lasted a day (come on, we've all been there).

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