Am I endangering my street cred by even considering a book about Mince? Will I be asked to hand back my membership card to Foodies United? (Please don’t write in if such an organisation exists …on the other hand, do!). No. I am proud to say that I am an unashamed supporter of mince in all its many and several guises.
The author, Mitzie Wilson, is not alone in her regard for humble mince. She has contributions from such culinary luminaries as Antony Worral Thompson, Rick Stein and Phil Vickery to name but a few. It’s no good pretending that we wouldn’t touch mince with a ten-foot spatula. There is a lot of mince sold every day and someone is buying it. I admit that it’s often me.
Perhaps mince will enjoy something of a revival. You might have heard that there is a credit crunch just now so many of us will be wanting to stretch the housekeeping money a bit. Whilst it is still a cheap option I’d advise to buy the best you can afford. The meal will still be economic but taste better with none of that fatty residue that is so off-putting.
We can all think of lots of mince recipes …OK, perhaps just two. There is spag bol and lasagne. You might include a burger but that’s about the sum total for most of us. This book contains a staggering 100, yes, 100 recipes for it. They include minced chicken, pork, beef, venison and lamb, which is my favourite.
Mitzie has a good selection of traditional dishes like Cottage Pie, Shepherd’s Pie, Meat and Potato Pie and the Spaghetti Bolognese to which some are addicted. There are others that might not be quite so familiar like Deer Stalker’s Pie, and Mozzarella Meatballs and Spaghetti with a Pepper Sauce.
Mince is popular all over the world and there are some delicious examples of exotic dishes here. Keema Curry with minced lamb, Chinese Pork-Fried Rice, Golbaki (Polish stuffed cabbage) and even Ethiopia is represented by Berbere Sauce, a vibrant mix of spices and minced lamb.
Commercial burgers have got an iffy reputation but homemade ones can be delicious. Chilli Chicken Burger is a healthy alternative to Macwimpking and you can vary the seasoning and add exotic garnishes to produce truly gourmet burgers.
Mince is a good value book with recipes for quick evening meals as well as classy suggestions for dinner party dishes. Mince is a versatile and economic option and too often overlooked.
Author: Mitzie Wilson
Published by: Absolute Press
Price: £12.99, $19.95US
ISBN 978 1 9066001 8
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018