Cooking With Minced Beef: The Real Family Favourite

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Versatile, tasty and budget friendly, it’s no surprise that minced beef is at the top of the shopping list for most Irish families. We might not think of it as high octane cuisine, but who could imagine life without lasagne or kofta, or meatballs? We love cooking with minced beef, and know that with a little bit of care and attention, it can be transformed into the most deliciously healthy mealtimes for the whole family.

pizza

Minced Beef Pizza

Choose the right minced beef
When cooking with minced beef, it’s important to have some fat marbling, but too much can mean a lower quality product. We like 85% lean cuts, which means that you have fat for flavour but not an overload. Look at the colour of your mince. Bright red or pink doesn’t necessarily mean better – in fact, it can mean that your mince has been chemically treated to look this way. Often minced beef straight from the butcher will appear brown in colour, and that’s the way it should look. If you can, get your mince made right in front of you. It’s the surefire way to know that you are dealing with the freshest meat possible.

Chilli con carne with rice in terracotta dish

Chilli Con Carne

Brown it well
This is a really important step to cooking any minced meat. Much like overcrowding a pot with vegetables will make them sweat instead of fry, fry off your mince in smaller batches, getting a brown crust on all sides. This brown crust means flavour, and will ensure the best possible result later on.

Hide The Veggie Spag Bol

Hide The Veggie Spag Bol

Create a flavour base
Think of minced beef as a blank canvas. Start with a basis of chopped onion and garlic, fried in olive oil until soft, and then add herbs and spices, depending on where you want to go. Burgers take a sprinkling of dried Herbes de Provence and a dollop of dijon mustard to transform a patty from normal to amazing, while meatballs welcome the addition of breadcrumbs, oregano and fresh basil to take them from oh to wow.

Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs

Cook it low and slow
Once you’ve given your minced beef a good brown, mellow it slowly in a pot of tomato passata or beef stock for an hour, to allow the meat to break down and any excess fat to rise to the surface. Skim the top of the pot before serving to ensure a super healthy meal.

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