We can do better than fill our plates with loose, gray-looking minced meat. It just doesn't look appetizing at all.
Sure, it gets the job done, but you could very easily transform it into something so much more palatable, and beautiful.
Most people think enjoying meat is limited to having the blockbuster cuts — steak, ribs or fatty shanks. Well, you can actually make minced meat taste just as good, if not better.
Let's start with what you actually want in your mince. The standard is 80/20, meaning 80% lean beef and 20% fat. This gives a good base that you could use for just about anything. Have too much fat and it'll crumble like a house of cards. Too little and it'll taste like cardboard.
If your butcher's cool, he'll be down to fill your mince with the special stuff — organ meats & bone marrow, for example. This boosts the micronutrient content significantly, and transforms a regular serving of minced beef into a superfood.
Here's what you can make instead of sad gray mince:
Patties are perfect as your new lazy option. All you have to do is to simply roll it into a ball and cook. You could smash the ball of meat directly onto the pan if you wanted to, and make smashed patties. Don't overthink it. Throw some cheese, add some onions and before you know it, you've got something amazing going. You can even play around with seasonings, use unique cheeses and add different spices to elevate and change things up.
- Add garlic powder, salt, freshly cracked black pepper and season your mince
- Form 150g patties, and make sure seasoning is incorporated well
- Get a pan on medium-high heat and coat well with ghee. Just before it starts to smoke, place the patties in the pan, and press down firmly
- Cook for 2-3 minutes on one side. Flip, to reveal a beautiful sear
- Throw the sliced shallots on the side, for it to slowly fry
- Place a slice of gouda on every respective patty, and let it cook for 2-3 more minutes
Skewers and a grill are a match made in heaven. With kebabs, your imagination is the only limit. Squeeze minced meat into smaller balls of meat, and load them onto the skewer. Sandwich them with colorful peppers if you wish.
We talked about MM's Koobideh Kebab this past week, and it's truly glorious. If you don't have a grill, you could also broil it in the oven, but the char on a grill elevates the flavor like nothing else.
- 2lb seasoned lamb or beef (add any spices you want, could use harissa as a base)
- 50% tomato paste, 50% spicy pepper for marinade
- Add minced meat & marinade sauce in a bowl
- Knead until incorporated & make 8 balls
- Spread evenly on middle part of skewer
- Set skewers on grill and give them enough space
- Keep turning the skewers to the temperature you like
The magic of meatballs is found in the details, primarily the combination of herbs and spices you use to season the meat with.
My rule of thumb for me is to go heavy on herbs and spices. This means a cilantro & garlic powder overdose. And throw in an egg too, because why not? It will also help bind it all together.
Biting into a meatball should be soft, yet explode with flavor. Incorporate the ingredients well and you can either pan sear, brown and cook in some sauce, or finish them in the oven.
Other notable options:
Making a shakshouka (minced beef with eggs, tomatoes, and various spices), a hearty beef stroganoff, making a chili beef taco, or even cooking some spelt pasta and doing a bolognese.