Quince and Mince

Although we have dined on mince unlike the owl and the pussycat we did not have slices of quince to accompany it, nor did we have a runcible spoon.
I did, however, eat quince milles feuilles at our favourite pub for lunch today. A cold dessert of layers of puff pastry, whipped cream and quince purée. It was nice but I have to (modestly) say, not as nice as any of the desserts I have made with my quinces.

Yesterday was the 25th, the day I photograph the Quince Tree.
Although you can't see them there are still quite a lot of quinces on the tree.

Some are rotting on the tree.


My Mince

I'm sure everyone knows how to make a tasty pot of mince. I expect we all do it slightly differently. This is how I make mine. I like it rich and tomatoey. I use passata rather than tinned tomatoes as I like the smoothness it gives to the sauce. I also include some smoked bacon which adds flavour and smokiness as well as salt. This is one of the rare times when I use a stock cube. I don't often make beef stock.  Kallo make good stock cubes free from junk. The stock cube also adds salt so I am careful to only add extra salt at the end of cooking if necessary. Sun-dried tomatoes are another of my special touches -again adding saltiness as well as flavour.

Ingredients for a big pot of mince to feed at least five depending how many teenaged boys you have.

4-5 rashers of smoked streaky bacon.
1 onion
1 carrot
1 stick of celery (optional)
Half a red pepper (optional)
1-2 cloves of garlic
5-6 sun-dried tomato halves
1 kilo of beef mince
500ml passata
big pinch of dried herbs - I use a blend labelled Italian herbs, something with oregano is good.
1 beef stock cube

Put the first seven ingredients in a food processor and process until  finely chopped.

Heat some olive oil (or some of the oil from the sun-dried tomato jar) in a roomy pan and gently fry the chopped mixture.

Add the mince, stir well and let it cook for until the redness has gone from the meat.
Add the stock cube directly to the pan and prod it around to dissolve it. 
Add the herbs and passata and stir well.

Let it cook covered for at least 30 mins over a low heat. Longer is better and it improves if reheated.

We ate it with potato wedges and a sprinkling of grated cheddar.
I also ladle it over spaghetti and call it bolognese.

Leftovers are good.


Following Katie's energy drink experience I spoke to the manager of our Tesco Express. He said that as far as he knew Tesco had no policy regarding the sale of these drinks to children. I suggested they get one.


  1. That mince looks delicious ~ like the idea of wedges and cheese :O)x

  2. I have never thought to prepare everything in a food processor....until now - it looks wonderful and authentic...

  3. Your blog always makes me hungry even though I have just had dinner!
    Thanks for the comment about my day out. I think there was a quince tree but it didn't have fruit left on it. I am not expert enough to be sure from the leaves alone so I didn't post the photo! I love Croft Castle but haven't been for a while - their gardens are beautiful.
    If you haven't been I would really recommend a trip to Mosley & take the tour - our guide was fab.

  4. The fried meatless mixture on its own looks jolly tasty - I'd be tempted to give it a name and shamelessly serve it without finishing the recipe. Mind you, the final version looks wonderful too.

  5. I like the food processor bit- I've always chopped by hand but will now dig out the machine & have a cuppa instead!

  6. That mince looks and sounds delicious! I haven't eaten meat in years but I'm tempted to start again. You weren't tempted to add slices of quince then ;D

  7. The mince sounds good. The stores here don't regulate the sale of energy drinks either and it bothers me too.

  8. Brilliant - just the sort of thing the grandkids would love over mashed potatoes. I wonder if I can get that special tomato sauce - could I make it do think - will look on line.
    Thanks Sue, I have been racking my brains................

  9. Lizzie, passata is sieved tomatoes. It's available in all the UK supermarkets. If you are in the US I think tomato sauce is the same thing.

  10. Thank you, I now know what I will be cooking for dinner tomorrow night - potatoe wedges, grated cheese included.

    Regarding the energy drink - good for you taking Tesco to task over it - we should all be more assertive.

  11. I am going to try doing my mince this way, it looks delicious and I like the idea of having it with potato wedges for a change.


    PS I'd just like to say that I bought a Dorothy Whipple book - They Were Sisters - on your recommendation. I love the way she writes. If you have any more author recommendations I'd be really interested to hear. Thanks!

  12. Yum, I love mince on potato wedges. Always useful to have a stash of sauce in the freezer.
    Have just read your post about Katie-poor girl. We have reps coming into the cafe trying to give us free cases of energy drinks as a promotion. I always refuse them due to how awful they are, but the reps can never understand it-they keep saying "But it's FREE" I just keep telling them that we sell decent products, not mad faddy stuff.

  13. I've said it before - please may I be your lodger? Good for you on taking the Tesco manager to task, it is ridiculous that those drinks are so freely available..

  14. That looks delicious and easy and fast to make. I love this type of food especially for this time of year. And leftovers for next day are even better.

  15. I always add grated carrot to my 'bolognaise' - it makes the mince go further and gets more veg into the kids to.

  16. Since Delia recommended Marigold stock in a tub, I have never looked back.

  17. "Not suitable for children" should be in huge letters on the front so the checkout staff can refuse to sell. Good grief that is crazy, I'm outraged on your behalf and I don't even know you.

    Um, wonderful blog, just stumbled across it. Now bookmarked.


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