Easy Savoury Mince - Easy Beef Recipe (2024)

Published on by Helen Best-Shaw 12 Comments
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Savoury mince is the ultimate comfort food, and a staple of British cooking which makes a quick and easy weeknight dinner. Adaptable and full of vegetables, it is also perfect for batch cooking and freezing!

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Old-fashioned savoury mince

Rich, fully flavoured savoury (or brown) mince in a thick brown gravy is a childhood favourite. Warm and comforting, it is the perfect rib-sticking winter food. Best of all, it is adaptable and can be used in all sorts of dishes.

My mother has been suggesting ever since I started the blog that I include some classic British dishes like this.

It sometimes feels as though we are losing confidence in traditional cooking. We still yearn for the food that our grandmothers served, however. I think it’s good to remember just how easy and how good these recipes are.

I have suggested a few changes – granny might not have had garlic, tomato puree or red wine in the kitchen – but you can vary as you prefer.

Serve it the old-fashioned way, with boiled or mashed potatoes and a green vegetable, or topped with mash as a cottage pie. Alternatively, try it on toast, in a baked potato, or add potatoes for a complete one pot.

Why make savoury mince

  • Super simple, easy and fuss free to eat!
  • Nostalgic comfort food
  • Adaptable and easy to bulk out
  • Perfect for batch cooking and filing the freezer – cook once, eat three times or more!

Ingredients

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  • Minced beef – Get a good quality beef, lean, but not the lowest amount of fat. There is a lot of flavour in that fat!
  • Onions and garlic – peeled and finely chopped. Garlic is non traditional but I like to add a little.
  • Beef stock – a nice rich good quality stock. I like the stock pot style.
  • Fat or oil – for frying off the vegetables and mince. Beef dripping will give a better final result than oil.
  • Flour – to thicken. You can use any type of flour, even bread flour. See my notes below for how to make this gluten free if you don’t have gluten free flour.
  • Mixed herbs – a good pinch of your usual herb blend
  • Tomato puree – or a spoonful of tomato sauce
  • Vegetables – the easiest is a frozen mix, such as peas, corn, carrots and beans. Use what you like and have.
  • Worcestershire sauce, Marmite, Bovril (or red wine or dark beer for a fancier twist!) – any of these will give the mince some extra flavour.

How to make savoury mince – step-by-step

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Step One – Heat the dripping (or oil) in a shallow pan or skillet with a tightly fitting lid. Add the onion and fry for a few minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute or two until fragrant and just starting to turn golden.

Fuss Free Tip

Garlic takes less time to fry then onion. Give the onion a few minutes head start. Then add the garlic.

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Step Two – Add the mince. The best way to do this is in several stages, because if you add all the mince at once it will steam rather than fry off. (Photo shows after adding and frying the first batch of mince.)

Break up it and keep stirring. Carry on frying for about 10 minutes, adding the meat in stages, until the meat is browned and there is no liquid left in the pan.

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Step Three – Add the flour and stir it in. Then cook for few more minutes, stirring all the time. Take care that nothing starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.

Gluten free? If you don’t have gluten free flour, leave it out. Then at the end of cooking, put two teaspoons of cornflour into a small bowl, add a little water and stir to make a liquid about the consistency of cream. Stir though the mince and cook for another minute. Repeat if necessary to get the consistency you want.

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Step Four – Add the herbs, beef stock and tomato puree along with your choice of the wine, Worcestershire sauce, marmite or Bovril. Stir and bring to a gentle simmer.

Step Five – Turn the heat right down, using a diffuser ring if you need one to keep the temperature very low. Put the lid on the pan and leave for 20 minutes.

It should be dark and glossy with a thick rich gravy.

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Step Six – Add the frozen vegetables. Stir through and cook for another 5–8 minutes.

If you are batch cooking for the freezer, you can leave adding the vegetables until you are reheating to serve.

Serving suggestion

Conventionally, we eat mince with potatoes, but you can eat it with rice or on toast as a sloppy joe! Try it on pasta too.

Savoury mince variations

  • Equally delicious with lamb, turkey or veggie mince.
  • Try some different herbs or a pinch of chilli or curry powder.
  • To make your mince go further, add a can of any drained rinsed beans, or some red lentils with double their volume of extra stock.
  • Add extra veg! Try frying chopped celery or diced peppers with the onion and garlic at the start. Add diced courgettes, roasted squash or pumpkin along with the frozen vegetables, or include small pieces of cauliflower or broccoli.

Storage

This savoury mince will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for three days or in the freezer for three months.

Pack it into pots (I like to use those handy plastic takeaway trays) as soon as it is cold and get it into the freezer or fridge as quickly as possible.

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Reheat in a pan on the stove top, or in the microwave until piping hot.

Hints and Tips

  • Slow cooker method – Cook to step 4 and then transfer to the slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours. You might need a little less liquid, or alternatively, leave the lid ajar for the last 30 minutes of cooking to allow the mince to thicken.
  • In the oven – Cook to step 4. Then transfer to the oven in a covered casserole dish for 40 minutes.
  • Use dripping rather than oil to make a far nicer and much more traditional mince.
  • Brown the beef mince properly before adding the flour. It needs to be properly broken up with no liquid in the pan. It is best to do add the mince in stages when you brown it.
  • For batch cooking / making ahead – cook to stage 5, pack into freezer safe boxes and add the vegetables once the mince has defrosted and you are ready to reheat it.
  • Add more vegetables – it is really easy to add extra veg to this dish. Try finely chopped celery or sliced peppers along with the onion and garlic. Add frozen mixed vegetables to save time and effort.
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FAQS

Why does my mince sometimes look grey?

This can happen when you don’t add the meat to the pan in stages. Adding the mince all at once lowers the temperature of the pan and makes it harder for any liquid to evaporate and the meat to brown properly.

Can I use frozen mince?

If you buy a packet of “free flow” frozen mince, you can cook from frozen. Add in stages, making sure each batch is defrosted and has started to brown before you add the next.

What fat mince is best?

Standard mince is 20% fat. I prefer a leaner 10–15%. But use what you have. I don’t recommend going below 10% fat, as if you use this, the end dish can be quite dry.

Why is my mince chewy?

You may have bought a cheaper mince made from cheaper, tougher cuts of meat. Alternatively, you may have cooked it too long, or boiled hard rather than simmered.

  • Leftover lamb stew
  • Lamb and bean one pot casserole
  • Slow cooker beef casserole

Serve with

  • Roasted swede
  • Parmentier Potatoes
  • Sautéed potatoes
  • Roasted butternut squash
  • Garlic fries
  • Swede mash
  • Spicy rice – perfect for mopping up the juices!
  • Any other easy rice recipe!
  • Smashed peas – quickly made from frozen peas!

Tried this recipe?If you try this recipe please tag #FussFreeFlavours on Instagram or X (Twitter). It is amazing for me when you make one of my recipes and I really do love to see them. You can also share it on my Facebook page. Please pin this recipe to Pinterest too! Thanks for reading Fuss Free Flavours!

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5 from 1 vote

Easy Savoury Mince

Savoury mince just the way your grandmother made it – warming, comforting and delicious, it's a taste of home to treasure.

Servings: 6

Author: Helen Best-Shaw

Ingredients

  • 1 tbs olive oil (or beef dripping)
  • 1 onion (peeled and diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled and diced)
  • 450 g minced beef (about 12–15% fat )
  • 2 tsp mixed herbs (I like oregano and thyme)
  • 2 tbs flour (any sort)
  • 2 tbs tomato puree (or ketchup)
  • 425 ml beef stock (for a richer use a stock pot)
  • 250 g frozen mixed vegetables (your choice)
  • 1 tbsp parsley (finely chopped)

Optional – for extra flavour (choose from, any but not all)

  • 1 – 2 tsp Bovril / Marmite / miso / Worcestershire sauce / soy sauce
  • 1 – 2 tbs red / white wine
  • 1 tbs chilli sauce

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a shallow casserole dish or saute pan that has a tightly fitting lid. Add the onion and cook for a fry for a few minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another minute or so, until starting to turn golden.

  • Add the mince to the onion to cook. It's best to do this in stages so that the mince has enough room in the pan to fry, rather than steam. Cook until all the meat is browned and there is no liquid left in the pan.

  • Add the flour and stir in. Continue to cook, stirring all the time. Make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan and burns.

  • Add herbs, tomato puree and beef stock, together with wine and yeast/beef extract/ soy sauce / Worcestershire sauce if used. Stir briefly, and bring to a gentle simmer.

  • Turn the heat right down and cover with the lid. The dish should be on a very gentle simmer. Leave for 20 minutes.

  • After 20 minutes, it should be dark and glossy, with a rich, thick gravy. Add the frozen vegetables and cook for a further 5-8 minutes.

  • Serve with potatoes, rice, pasta or on toast as a sloppy joe. Or allow to cool and freeze.

Notes

  • Slow cooker method – Cook to step 4 and then transfer to the slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours. You might need a little less liquid, or alternatively, leave the lid ajar for the last 30 minutes of cooking to allow the mince to thicken.
  • In the oven – Cook to step 4. Then transfer to the oven in a covered casserole dish for 40 minutes.
  • Use dripping rather than oil to make a far nicer and much more traditional mince.
  • Brown the beef mince properly before adding the flour. It needs to be properly broken up with no liquid in the pan. It is best to do add the mince in stages when you brown it.
  • For batch cooking / making ahead – cook to stage 5, pack into freezer safe boxes and add the vegetables once the mince has defrosted and you are ready to reheat it.
  • Add more vegetables – it is really easy to add extra veg to this, finely chopped celery or sliced peppers along with the onion and garlic. Add extra frozen vegetables.

Nutritional Information

  • This recipe is 9 Weight Watchers points per portion

• Please note that the nutrition information provided below is approximate and meant as a guideline only.

• Unless stated otherwise cup conversions have been made with an online tool. For accuracy please check with your favoured conversion tool. We recommend buying inexpensive digital kitchen scales.

Nutrition Facts

Easy Savoury Mince

Amount Per Serving

Calories 285Calories from Fat 162

% Daily Value*

Fat 18g28%

Saturated Fat 6g38%

Trans Fat 1g

Polyunsaturated Fat 1g

Monounsaturated Fat 8g

Cholesterol 53mg18%

Sodium 330mg14%

Potassium 555mg16%

Carbohydrates 13g4%

Fiber 2g8%

Sugar 3g3%

Protein 17g34%

Vitamin A 2203IU44%

Vitamin C 7mg8%

Calcium 41mg4%

Iron 3mg17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Course: Main – Meat, Main meal

Cuisine: Traditional British

Keyword: savoury mince

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