We thought we'd have a trip back in time for dinner today. Around 15 years ago, we were living in Chatham and I was working at Hampton Court Palace, in Surrey. Both before and after work, I would care for my donkey, who was also in Surrey. As you can imagine, I didn't have a lot of time left for cooking, between leaving for stables and then work at around 6am, then returning home at around 9pm.
So, on the days when I did cook - hubby-to-be would often have something ready by the time I got home - it would have to be something easy. Something really easy.
Common or garden weekday mince was always a favourite. However, since I've had more time to cook, poor old weekday mince was relegated to history and never seen again.
I was cooking the other day when I remembered a time when some builders were working on the house and I was cooking weekday mince. They were both like Bisto kids outside the back door and eventually, one came and asked what I was cooking. They seemed impressed at how good it smelled - for just plain old mince - and we had quite a conversation about how to make it, complete with scribbled notes on the back of a cigarette packet for his wife to peruse!
That memory reminded me of how good weekday mince was, so I resolved to add it to the menu list. We had it for dinner this evening and it was so good. Not surprisingly, I have to pass the recipe on to you all. So here we go!
WEEKDAY BEEF MINCE (serves 3)
1 tsp olive oil
500mg beef mince
1 onion, chopped finely
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 baby red peppers (or half a red pepper), chopped finely
1 tsp dried oregano
1 flat tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
quarter tsp of black pepper
1 Knorr rich beef stock pot
1 tsp Bovril
1 tsp HP Sauce
3 tsp Bisto Best beef gravy granules.
1. Brown the beef mince in a deep frying pan until all the water has evaporated, then continue until the meat has caramelised on the underside at least three times. Caramelise it, then turn the meat, then caramelise again and repeat once again.
2. Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat and reserve. Remove and discard some of the fat, then add the olive oil.
3. Add the onion, garlic and peppers along with a little salt and fry until the onion is transparent.
4. Mix in the meat and add the cinnamon and oregano along with black pepper.
5. Add the stock pot, the Bovril and the HP sauce. Add 200-300ml of water and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and reduce by approximately half. Stir regularly.
6. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes or so.
7. Add the Bisto best gravy granules, the gravy will thicken, then simmer - stirring regularly - for 10 minutes or so.