We’ve left the festive period behind for another year and 3rd week of January is already upon us. For most it’s a month for tightening the purse strings and loosening belts after the excesses of Christmas and New Year but regardless we still need to eat. There’s the resolutions of losing weight, eating healthier, cutting out alcohol and no cakes or biscuits. I often wonder if anyone succeeds as January for me is still a month where the right kind of comfort food feels like a big cosy blanket wrapping itself around me.
In addition to the festive excesses inflicted on our digestion there’s possibly a groaning freezer of food that was bought just in case we needed it. This is my starting point, using up any chicken, meat and fish that wasn’t used for meals during Christmas. I’ll be using store cupboard ingredients like pasta, rice, and tinned tomatoes along with herbs and spices meaning no big shopping for a week or two.
There’s always mince in my freezer, beef, lamb, pork and turkey and it usually features a couple of time is weekly meals. It’s economical and I’ve noticed both my local butcher and butchers at Farmers markets selling two for the price of one. Having boys with big appetites means I usually use 2lb of mince for many of my recipes and then freeze any leftovers in single portions for my mother.
Mince is so versatile and works so well with other ingredients like rice or pasta and it’s easily stretched by adding lentils and extra veg. This months posts will therefore be about mince, with recipes for a few healthy and economical meals to feed the family. Given the news about horse meat in Supermarket burgers I’ll also be including some homemade burger recipes.
Turkey makes a really healthy meal and the mince and can be cooked in a number of ways including meatballs, meatloaf, Koftas and burgers. It is widely available at farmers markets, supermarkets and if your local butcher has turkey in stock he will be more than happy to mince for you. I prefer to use the thigh mince as breast mince can be quite dry but the recipe works well with both.
This first recipe is a reminder that turkey is not just for Christmas and is a good to eat all year round
Minced turkey can be quite bland and it works well with stronger flavours such as chilli, ginger and garlic, really warming ingredients for this cold winter weather.This recipe is really quick to make and you can reduce the load at the end of a busy day by preparing the fresh ingredients earlier.
Shortcuts are okay, and it may suit to replace the chilli, garlic and ginger with a ready mixed spice blend such as Thai 7 spice or even a good quality Thai curry paste such as Barts.
Spicy Turkey Mince.
500g Turkey Mince
1 Tbsp rapeseed oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 Red chilli, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1inch piece of ginger finely chopped.
Lemon grass….or 1 teaspoon from a jar of ready prepared…Barts is good.
1 Red pepper, roughly chopped
500ml chicken stock
2 Tbsp light soy sauce
2 Tbsp nam Plaa – fish sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil over a medium heat, add onion and cook for about 3-4 minutes until softened. Add the ginger, red chilli and continue cooking for 1 minute.
Add the minced turkey, stirring until well browned.
Add the red pepper, stir in approx 250ml stock along with the soy and fish sauce. Season with black pepper and continue cooking for 10 minutes adding additional stock if needed.
4 Chopped spring onions
Handful of torn basil leaves or freshly chopped corriander.
Serve with rice such as brown basmati and wild rice or Thai rice and some broccoli.
Use Chicken or Pork Mince as an alternative if you can’t get Turkey Mince.
Thank you to Robert at St Brides Poultry for the picture of the Free Range Turkeys. You can find out more about them at http://www.stbridespoultry.co.uk or keep up to date with what’s happening at the farm by following on Twitter @StBridesPoultry