Childhood Memories and More Mince
I remember eating a lot of mince when I was growing up. Mostly it was served to us as Mince and Tatties. Mince, with a large portion of mashed potatoes. My brothers used to drown theirs in tomato ketchup. I *think* the recipe was my father’s…and I think he learnt to make it from three maiden aunts who brought him up during the war. The same basic mince mixture was used to make cottage pie and, with the addition of tomato puree and a few fresh tomatoes, a bolognese sauce. I seem to remember it also having curry powder added to it, to be served with rice. One of my brothers went away on a camping holiday and came back to make chilli con carne, which involved chilli powder, tomato puree and kidney beans being added to the basic mince mixture.
Anyway, when I was working on my ration book challenge, I thought it would be a good idea to use mince as the basis for a couple of meals. I was concerned about stretching the meat ration properly but I was actually quite suprised at how this particular dish worked out. I added in a basic mix of carrot, onion, celery and turnip diced finely. And the result was that my 8oz ration of beef that I expect to make 2 portions actually comfortably made 4!
Cottage pie of course is the same mince mixture used as a base and topped with mashed potato, then baked in the oven. In keeping with my world war II rations, I didn’t add any butter or margarine to potatoes, though I did use a tablespoon of milk to soften them a little. I have to say for me, these two meals were really reminiscent of my childhood. My mother never used to add wine to cooking and I remember the taste of bisto, added to make a thick gravy. If you want to turn the basic mince mixture into cottage pie, just wait till it has cooled, put enough mince to fill a small casserole dish half way, then top with about the same amount of mashed potato. If you happen NOT to be doing the ration challenge, you can grate a little cheese over the mashed potato, or even mix some into the mash. Bake the casserole at 160c for about 30 minutes, till it is golden brown on top and the mince is bubbling
Would I make it this way again? well, yes I think I probably would, though I’d be tempted to add a splash of wine, it’s really not necessary. Butter into the mash is something that would make more of a difference:). You probably don’t need a side dish of vegetables with this, though I DID have some greens today.
I do wonder though whether I am enjoying the war time kitchen simply because I know I only have 7 days of it! How different would it be if I couldn’t get things like lemons and butter…or if my meat was always mince…