Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food and Cookery Column – Carol Taylor Cooks with Mince

Welcome to this week’s cookery column where I will be cooking with mince…sometimes I buy my mince ready to go and sometimes I mince my own using a very sharp knife it is a coarser mince then but some recipes call for a coarser type of mince meat.

If I am mincing already cooked meats i.e. that elusive lamb for a cottage pie I would use my Nan’s mincer which I still have, which is many years old and has been around the world with me, it must by now be 70 plus years old or more and still works .

Mince is a very versatile ingredient and today I thought instead of dishes with all the sauces and preparation I would show some quick meals which can be made with mince…
Any meat can be used chicken, pork, beef and where to start??

I prefer chilli to spaghetti Bolognese so I normally make a tomato base and then separate the sauce and make spag bol with one and chilli with the other and there is always enough over so I can freeze some portions. This is handy especially if you work as you can take a portion out of the freezer in the morning and either take it to work or all you have to do when you get home is heat it up cook some fresh pasta or rice or use it as a jacket potato filling .

Fresh Tomato sauce.


• 3 x 14 oz tin tomatoes or 18 fresh whole tomatoes.
• 6- 8 cloves of garlic finely chopped
• 6 tbsp Tomato paste
• Salt & Pepper
• 2 Onions finely diced.

Lets’s Cook!

Heat some olive oil in a pan and add the onions and garlic cook until the onions have softened. Add the tomatoes and the puree and simmer until the sauce has thickened about 20-25 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

This tomato paste I freeze in portions ready to make my spag bol or chilli.

For Spaghetti Bolognese;


• 500 gm Minced Beef/Pork
• 4 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
• 2 bay leaves
• 200 gm button mushrooms sliced.
• 2 sticks of celery chopped
• 1 carrot chopped finely
• 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
• Fresh basil
• 1 veg/beef stock cube
• 1 tsp dried/fresh oregano
• Red chilli finely chopped ( optional)
• 125 ml red wine.
• 6 cherry tomatoes halved.

Let’s Cook!

Put a large saucepan over a medium heat and add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add the bacon and fry until crispy and golden.

Reduce the heat and add the carrot, celery, and rosemary and fry for about 5-6 or until the veg has softened.

Increase the heat and add the minced meat and cook stirring for 3-4 minutes until the meat has browned.

Add your fresh tomato paste, chopped basil, oregano, bay leaves, stock cube, chilli ( if used), wine and cherry tomatoes. Stir with a wooden spoon and reduce to a gentle simmer, cover with a lid and cook for at least an hour or until you have a rich sauce . I add my mushrooms about 15 minutes from the end of the cooking.

Serve with pasta of your choice, salad and or some nice homemade garlic bread.

Chilli Sauce.


• 500 gm beef/Pork mince
• Half green, red and yellow Bell pepper cut into chunks
• A thumb sided piece of fresh ginger finely chopped
• 2 heaped tsp dried chilli
• 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
• ½-1 tsp cayenne pepper
• 1 tsp majoram
• 1-2 tsp cumin seeds
• 400 gm of kidney beans…I use dried and soak them.

Let’s Cook!

Heat some olive oil in a pan and add ginger, and spices cook until fragrant Add mince beef and cook stirring until browned.

Add fresh tomato sauce, puree,stock cube and cook for about 45mins then add peppers and kidney beans cook for at least 20 minutes.

I like my chilli hot and I also add more cumin seeds..I love cumin but taste and adjust seasoning if required. Allow chilli to stand for 10 mins and then serve.

Serve with rice, sour cream or over potato wedges or as a jacket potato filling.

I make my own tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes as I don’t buy tinned tomatoes or beans I always use dried beans and soak the myself.

The reason ? Because the white coating on the inside of the tins is known to leach into food…It is this BPA rearing its head and I don’t take any chances.

Mince you probably know I also make my own burgers..not often but I do and we won the best burger competition when we had our bar for my beef burger a beef, red onion and parmesan burger.

This will be the first time I have given out my burger recipes unless it has been friends and family..

Beef, red onion and parmesan Burger.


• 350 gm best beef mince
• 1 med red onion very finely chopped… cut of a few rings first to go into the burger buns.
• 2 med egg yolks beaten.
• 25g breadcrumbs
• ¼ tsp chilli powder
• ¼ tsp ground cumin
• ½ tsp Dijon mustard
• ½ tsp dried oregano
• 35g parmesan cheese
• Olive oil
• Sea salt
• Freshly ground black pepper

Let’s Cook!

If you are cooking your burgers on the BBQ then the first job is to get the BBQ going as you want it nice and hot.

Chop the onion finely and blitz in the food processor…add the egg yolks with the breadcrumbs, spices and Dijon mustard mix to combine. Finely grate the parmesan and mix in well.

Add the mince and season well..I always cook a tiny little patty as a tester that way it is easier to adjust the seasoning.

I find mixing with your hands is a good way to combine the ingredients properly once mixed then form into the sized burgers you require.

Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for 10 minutes or so to firm up before putting onto the BBQ or grill.

Drizzle with olive oil and season when you put them on the griddle and cook for 4 mins each side more if you like your burgers well done.

Once the burgers are done then let them rest for a few minutes before putting them in the burger bun.

Serve in a toasted bun with sliced red onion and relish of your choice. Plain and simple but really tasty.


If like me you don’t eat very much bread then the burger with a nice side salad again makes a lovely tasty quick meal…

My second burger is a Thai burger…


This Larb recipe can be made using chicken or Pork. I have used Pork Mince for this.
Pork Larb Burgers.


• 300 gm Pork or chicken mince.
• 3 shallots finely sliced.
• 2 spring onions finely sliced green tops as well.
• A handful of fresh Mint, pick the leaves from stem and tear the leaves into pieces (mine is a big handful) I love mint.
• A handful of fresh coriander chopped.
• A few Thai Basil leaves chopped
• I Lime use half to a whole lime juice depending on personal taste.
• Dried chillies…dry roasted in a pan and grind in pestle and mortar.
• 1 large tbsp toasted rice.( recipe below)
• 1-2tbsp Fish Sauce.
• A sum amount of palm sugar…I use it sparingly
Let’s cook!

Mix all these ingredients together using your hands and use some beaten egg to bind the mixture together. Shape into the size patties that you want and cook on a griddle until browned both sides.

This was an experiment of ours and we served in small pitta breads with some shredded cabbage, thinly sliced fresh ginger and fresh sliced Thai chillies you can slice or leave the chillies whole. .Drizzle with a little tamarind sauce or sweet chilli sauce…


These were truly amazing and the first time we had made these … very nice I made the patties quite small and added 2/3 to each pitta bread…

If you make some mince with onions and mushrooms then top with creamy mash potatoes and sprinkle with some grated cheese pop it under the grill and you have a nice little individual shepherd’s pie.

If you are watching the calories then instead of potato top the mince with slices of courgette and sliced mozzarella cheese. Brown in the oven and serve with some steamed vegetables.

Or cook some pasta and mix some of the mince with pasta, top with parmesan cheese and you have a quick meal…

Again if you make up a batch of mince and onions freeze in portions and just use as required.

Mince is such a versatile meat it cooks very quickly and with a tomato sauce makes a quick tasty meal just take an onion, garlic a few mushrooms and some mixed herbs you can rustle up some meatballs and add to the pasta sauce they cook fairly quickly and topped with some cheese…lovely.

What is your favourite meal made with mince???

A shepherd’s Pie – Mince and onions with mash – Lasagne – Mince with noodles
The list could and is endless so much you can make…

We love mince and spag bol is a favourite as our hand made burgers.. thanks as always to Carol for all the effort she puts into preparing these dishes for our delight.

©Carol Taylor 2018

The other posts in the series can be found in this directory:

About Carol Taylor

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology:

Connect to Carol


If you have missed previous posts in the Cook from Scratch series you can find them here:

Thank you for dropping in today and Carol would be delighted to answer any of your questions and we always enjoy your feedback. Thanks Sally

19 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food and Cookery Column – Carol Taylor Cooks with Mince

    • Yes, my nan passed it to my mum and then to me I am sure there are many floating around…Yes, I don’t make many burgers and have to fess up I do add a tad more parmesan and sometimes some finely chopped mushrooms if I have any..I am a bit of a chuck it in cook especially if I have those little leftover mushrooms etc 🙂 xxx…Nought goes to waste …lol xx

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food and Cookery Column – Carol Taylor Cooks with Mince | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  2. Lovely recipes Carol you really brought out the versatility of mince which is often overlooked in today’s glamorous international cooking yet as you proved it’s quick and easy even for a novice, and you can do anything with it! Pxx

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: Retired No One Told Me! Weekly Roundup…Jackfruit,Alinea and Beeswax Wraps. | Retired? No one told me!

  4. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up -Summer Jazz, Photoshop, Moreish Mince and Interviews, Music, Health and Humour | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

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