As a child growing up I always considered Aunt Marie to be a ‘modern’ woman. She didn’t appear to spend hours labouring in the kitchen or washing and ironing. Aunt Marie took an interest in Uncle Wim’s business and helped to make it a success. She was organised and practical – when she put meals together it was efficient, with the minimum of fuss and tasty … plus there was often something of the ‘exotic’. Here is her Chow Mein Mince.
1 onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon celery, finely chopped
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 pkt chicken noodle soup
1 cup uncooked rice
2 cups boiling water
3 cups finely shredded cabbage
1 large carrot, grated
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon chutney
1 teaspoon sugar
- Brown finely chopped onions with mince in a little oil.
- Add remaining ingredients with water going in last. Note: Rice and soup mix are added dry.
- Cook over low heat for around 20 minutes stirring periodically until all liquid has been absorbed.
- Serve with a tossed salad.
It tastes so much better homemade despite the fact that there is some work and so many dishes. My son, Sven, always loved the crispy topping – finishing the top with the lasagne sheets instead of the cheese sauce makes it extra crispy. Sven and his Dad were always in there fighting for that last helping.
Serves 6-8 (In our family it was only enough for 4 !!!!!)
1 tablespoon oil
500g (1 lb) minced steak
2 x 470g (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon rosemary
½ teaspoon sugar
- Saute onion and garlic.
- Add mince and brown over a high heat.
- Add remaining ingredients. Simmer 30 minutes.
60 g (2 oz) butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
125 g (4 oz) grated cheddar cheese
- Melt butter in saucepan, stir in flour; cook gently, stirring, 1 minute.
- Gradually add the milk, stir until sauce boils and thickens.
- Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg. Finally add cheese.
Assembling the Lasagna
250 g (8 oz) lasagne noodles
½ cup grated cheddar cheese
½ cup cream
- Layers 1/3 of the meat sauce in the base of a 33cmx22cm (9x12inch) ovenproof dish.
- Cover with 1/3 of the cheese sauce; Then layer lasagne pasta sheets to cover top completely.
- Repeat these three layers twice more finishing with the pasta sheets on top – not the cheese sauce.
- Sprinkle top of lasagne sheets with 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese.
- Bake in moderate oven 20 to 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven, gently pour or spoon cream over the top of cheese. Bake for further 10 to 15 minutes.
These homemade sausage rolls are always a hit. The secret is using a quality lean beef mince. Serve them for afternoon tea, at a cocktail party or put them in lunch boxes or a picnic – so easy to put together and so versatile and popular.
Makes approx 24
750g beef mince
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon mixed dried herbs or one tablespoon fresh
4 slices bread
1xpacket of 2-3 quality puff pastry sheets 30cm square, at room temperature
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water to brush pastry
Tomato sauce, optional to serve
- Put the beef mince, finely chopped onion and herbs into a mixing bowl.
- Cut crusts from bread and put into separate bowl. Pour over enough warm water, just to cover. Stand 5 minutes.
- Drain water from bread. Squeeze bread gently to extract water.
- Add bread to mince mixture. Mix well. Bread absorbs any excess fat and helps to prevent meat shrinkage inside pastry during cooking.
- Cut each sheet of puff pastry in half. Put meat in piping bag without nozzle or use a plastic bag with end cut off.
- Pipe meat mixture down one side of halved puff pastry sheets. Turn edge of pastry over filling then turn again so that filling is enclosed completely and pastry join is on underside.
- Place pastry with meat filling on a baking tray. Flatten slightly with back of a large knife. Brush with egg wash of 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water.
- Cut rolls into 5cm pieces, separating slightly.
- Pre-heat the oven to 250C (475°F). Bake 10 minutes.
- Reduce heat to 180C (350°F). Bake a further 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and rest 10 minutes before serving with tomato sauce.
Everyone loves savoury mince so it’s a great backup when you are too tired or busy to plan anything. Serve it with rice and a salad. I used to make double quantities as it’s great on sandwiches and a favourite addition to school lunch boxes.
500g topside mince
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons curry powder or vindaloo curry paste
2 Tablespoons tomato puree
1 cup frozen peas
1 large potato, peeled and cubed into 1cm cubes. If the cubes are too large they won’t cook in time.
- Sauté onion in a large frying pan over a medium heat.
- Add garlic and curry paste and stir till fragrant.
- Turn up the heat and add the mince ensuring that the onions end up on top of the mince so that they don’t burn.
- Brown mince for a few minutes, stirring to keep it loose.
- Add tomato puree and potatoes. If necessary add a 1/2 cup of water so that there is enough liquid for the potatoes to cook BUT you want the finished result to be dry so only a LITTLE water.
- Put lid on. Lower the heat and simmer about 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
- Add peas and after they have defrosted, about 3 minutes, serve with rice, sambals and a green or tomato salad. if I don’t have frozen peas, I often use green beans.
The mince is tasty and the macaroni is crispy – everyone loves this wholesome dish. It’s the ideal way to end the week on a Sunday Evening.
1 large onion, chopped
2T(30ml) tomato paste
1t(5ml) mixed dried herbs or any available fresh herbs
- Sauté onions in butter in a large frying pan over low heat until golden.
- Increase heat to high. Add mince and brown for a few minutes.
- Then cook over a low heat for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time.
- In the mean time cook macaroni until al denté according to packet instructions.
- Mix the tomato paste and herbs into the mince mixture and cook for a few more minutes.
- Stir cooked macaroni into mince mixture and leave to cook for a bit longer so that macaroni goes a bit crispy and browns.
- Add lots of black pepper and serve with a tomato or green salad.
Like fashion, food changes over the years. However everyone loves the occasional old fashioned dish which brings back memories of happiness and comfort when life seemed easier. Cottage pie is one of the everyday dishes that our household grew up with. The recipe comes from Granny Rina – I copied it and didn’t change a thing because it is just perfect.
500g topside mince
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 beef stock cube
2T(30ml) tomato paste
4 potatoes, boiled and mashed
- Heat oven to 180°C.
- Sauté onion and garlic in a large frying pan over a medium heat.
- Turn up heat and add mince.
- Brown mince, stirring to keep it loose.
- Reduce heat to low and add tomato paste, stock cube and herbs.
- Cook over low heat for 30 minutes stirring from time to time until nicely browned.
- While meat is browning make mash potatoes, adding an egg and 2ml baking powder along with the butter and milk when mashing
- Put mince into the bottom of a 19cm diameter soufflé dish.
- Top with mashed potato and fork the top so that it will get crusty ridges.
- Put in the oven for about 30 minutes till top is brown and crispy.
- Enjoy with pumpkin, corn on the cob, and steamed greens
This South African dish hales from around the 17th century Cape Malay origins near Cape Town. Mind you it is unique to South Africa and not something you will find in Malaysia -a mild curry dish using beef mince as a base and the soft topping, dried fruit and almonds add wonderful textural elements. Serve on its own with steamed rice or as one of the dishes in a curry spread. In our household there is always a fight for the last helping. If you are fortunate enough to have leftovers,bobotie tastes wonderful spread on toast the next day. Every person that has tasted this dish has asked me for the recipe so here it is. This recipe is adapted from Table Talk by John Tovey.
Serves 6-8 (Due to popularity in our family it was only enough for 4 !!!!!)
50g (2 oz) butter
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
2T(30ml) curry powder
1T(15ml) tomato puree
100-125 g dried, apricots, soaked overnight in 4T brandy
300mL cream or plain yoghurt thickened with 2 egg yolks and a pinch of nutmeg
50g slivered toasted almonds
- Heat the butter and fry off the finely chopped onions with the crushed garlic.
- Add the tomato puree, the curry powder and the mince, and cook with a lid on, stirring from time to time, over a medium heat for about 40 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 190°C (375°F), Gas 5.
- Chop the brandy-soaked apricots and fold them, together with the toasted slivered almonds into the meat.
- Transfer to a 19cm diameter soufflé casserole dish.
- Lash out on a rich egg custard made of 300mL double cream with 2 egg yolks, seasoning generously with freshly ground nutmeg and the merest touch of additional curry powder.
- Top the meat mixture with the custard and re-heat in the pre-heated oven for 30 to 40 minutes till golden brown.
- Serve with steamed rice, Mrs Balls Chutney, and sliced banana that has been coated in a little coconut and yoghurt.
I was introduced to this dish by Caroline Doughty, a colleague at IBM, when I was young and unattached. A big group of us would get together at Caro’s place and sit in front of a fire to eat chilli and drink wine. A dish like this was inexpensive, new to all of us and would go a long way. As my children got older I adapted this for family weekend nights and everyone loved it too.
Serves 10; Leftovers are great
4 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1.5kg mince (you can use 1kg if you’re running short of cash)
mixed herbs and 2 or 3 bay leaves
2T lemon juice
lots of black pepper
1/3 bottle Maggie Beer’s chilli sauce or 2t sambal oelek (chilli paste) plus 2T Maggie Beer’s chilli sauce
2x800g tins whole tomatoes
2x 800g tins kidney beans, drained
1-2 cups red wine
100g tomato paste
350g sliced field mushrooms (optional)
sour cream or yoghurt to serve
chopped parsley and grated cheese to garnish
- Brown onions and garlic.
- Add chilli paste if using.
- Add mince and brown, stirring so that it breaks up well.
- Add remaining ingredients up to and including chilli.
- Stir well until all sticky.
- Now add remaining ingredients except mushrooms.
- Bring to boil and simmer 60 minutes stirring occasionally, adding more wine if necessary.
- Just before serving add mushrooms.
- Serve in bowls. Have bowls of sour cream or yoghurt (2T per serving), grated cheese and chopped parsley on the side for folks to add.
- Leftovers are wonderful served over baked potatoes or with rice.