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Savoury Mince

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion finely, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
500g beef mince (pork and lamb can also be used)
1 carrot, peeled and diced
500ml beef stock
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon dried thyme
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp Worcester sauce
1 tsp Dijon mustard
½ cup frozen peas
2 tbsp cornflour, to thicken
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large pot and sauté the onion and garlic until clear. Add the mince and brown.
Add the carrot and cook for a few minutes until the vegetables are soft.
Add the beef stock to the pan and then add the Bay leaf, thyme, tomato paste, Worcester sauce and mustard.
Bring to the boil, put on the lid and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Add the peas.
Just before serving, thicken with 2 tablespoons of cornflour (mixed with a little cold water to a paste) and stir through. Make sure it is nice and thick. Add more cornflour if necessary. Add salt and pepper and serve on hot buttered toast or with mashed potato and vegetables.

Note: You can add parsnip (peeled and diced), celery (finely chopped), mushroom or frozen corn as well.

Savoury mince is a quintessential New Zealand winter comfort food and reminds me of my childhood. We would have savoury mince for dinner with mashed potato and vegetables and the leftover mince the next morning heated up for breakfast on toast with a poached egg on top. This recipe is great if you are on a tight budget and a must to teach your teenagers before they leave home. Savoury mince is a great base for mince pie, shepherds pie and Cornish pasties.

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