Using Mince is a Sinch

This is a guest post by Briohny, from Plan Eat Play

After a brief discussion with a few friends, I quickly discovered that everyone has their own special way of making a bolognaise sauce and the perfect ‘Spag Bol’ is very personal and hotly contested topic. With this in mind I’m here to share with you five very quick and very simple ways you can transform your left over Spaghetti Bolognaise mince sauce into brand spankin’ new meals, {insert a big ‘Ta Dah!’ here}. These meals are all budget friendly and apart from the capsicum, can be frozen. Bonus! I’ve also included variations, a vegetarian option, healthier options, tips for a ‘cook-up’ and a shopping list.

Meal 1: Bologense Puff

Bolognaise-Puff

You will need:

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry (this serves 4, although you may like to double or triple this for hungry bodies), 1 cup of cooked sauce, English spinach, grated cheese.
  • Baking tray, baking paper, sharp knife, serving spoon.

Steps:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper. Cut the puff pastry into 4 equal squares and place on top of the baking paper. Add a few English spinach leaves on top and add a serving spoon full of mince and a sprinkle of grated cheese. Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the pastry is golden. Serve with steamed green vegetables such as asparagus and broccolini. Less topping is better on the pastries or they go soggy.

Meal 2: Lasagne

Lasagne

You will need:

  • Lasagne sheets (I like the fresh ones), 500g – 800g mince, 2 x white sauce packets, grated cheese (serves 6)
  • Baking dish, serving spoon, measuring jug, fork

Steps:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees and spray a baking dish with oil. Make the white sauce according to packet directions. Line the bottom of the dish with lasagne sheets, top with the mince, some of the white sauce and a bit of grated cheese, top with another lasagne sheet, mince and another lasagne sheet. Top with some of the white sauce and the mince and a lasagne sheet. Repeat until there is about 1 cm free from the top of the dish and sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake in the oven according to how long the lasagne sheets need to be cooked for (this will be from 35-55 minutes). Serve with a simple salad.

Meal 3: Stuffed Capsicum

stuffed-capsicum

You will need:

  • 2 x Large red capsicums cut in half and deseeded (this serves 4 people), 1 cup of mince (and maybe a bit extra depending on the size of your capsicum), 1 small packet of microwave rice, 1 sml tin kidney beans (rinsed and drained), grated cheese
  • Sharp knife, medium bowl, baking tray, baking paper, small strainer

Steps:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper. Combine the cooked rice, kidney beans and the mince together in a bowl and spoon into the capsicum shells. Top with grated cheese (or leave out). Place on the baking tray and put in the oven to roast for 15 – 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the capsicums become soft. Serve with a green salad.

Meal 4: Burrito Stack

Burrito-Stack

You will need:

  • 1 packet of large tortillas, 500 g of mince, 1 medium tin of kidney beans (rinsed and drained), grated cheese, cumin powder, sour cream, avocado (serves 6)
  • Large round pizza tray (no holes) or large round oven proof plate, serving spoon, small strainer

Steps:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and lightly oil a tray or oven proof plate that will fit the size of the tortillas. Heat the tortillas in the microwave so they separate easily. Combine the kidney beans and a few good shakes of cumin powder with the mince. Place one tortilla on the tray and top with some of the mince mix, top with another tortilla and then more mince. Repeat until you have used the mince mix or the tortillas (these can go as high as you like). Top with grated cheese. Place in the oven until the cheese has melted. Serve with sour cream and avocado and a fresh green salad.

Meal 5: Meat Pie

Meat-Pie

You will need:

  • 1 sheet of savoury shortcrust pastry and 1 sheet of puff pastry (from the frozen section), 500-800g mince, 1 egg,
  • Pie dish, fork, serving spoon, small bowl, fork, pastry brush (not essential), sharp knife

Steps:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees (or the temperature indicated on the pastry box). Generously spray the pie dish with oil. Once the shortcrust pastry is thawed, place it in the bottom of the pie dish (you may need to roll it out a bit depending on the size of your dish). Cut any overhang off and fill in any gaps. Ensure there are no air bubbles in the pastry. Fill with mince and top with the sheet of puff pastry again rolling to stretch it if necessary. Use a knife to cut a cross in the top to allow the steam to escape. Use a fork to press the two pastries together. Beat an egg with a bit of water and brush over the top of the pastry to give it a crisp, golden finish.

Place in the oven until the pastry is cooked.

Serve with mashed potatoes, carrots and broccoli OR add a packet of frozen veggies that have been cooked and drained to the mince mix.

Variations to all recipes

  • Use cannelloni tubes instead of lasagne sheets
  • If you don’t like capsicum you can fill a Portabello Mushroom the same way or leave the rice out and pile on top of a baked potato
  • Make a Quesadilla instead of the Burrito Stack (A Quesadilla is when the burrito is folded into halves and then quarters and then put in a pan or toasted sandwich maker to make a ‘toasted sandwich’)
  • Use mashed potato on top of the pie instead of another layer of pastry
  • Any type of mince will suit these recipes (e.g chicken mince)

Vegetarians

  • Substitute the beef mince for a vegetarian mince product such as Quorn Mince

Healthier options

  • Use the leanest mince available and cook without oil
  • Add chopped mushrooms and grated vegetables such as zucchini, pumpkin and carrots to the mince
  • Add a large tin of kidney beans to all mince bases
  • Use low fat cheese and/or decrease the amount used
  • Serve all meals with a fresh, green salad or steamed vegetables drizzled in olive oil and sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Cook-up

  • If you would like to cook these meals at the one time you will need approximately 3kgs mince, 3 jars of pasta sauce, 2 hours for preparing and cooking and under $100 to buy the ingredients. Pre-heat the oven to 180 -200 degrees. Cook the Lasagne (40 minutes) on the top shelf first as it takes the longest. The Meat Pie can go on the bottom shelf (20 minutes) and then the Burrito Stack. Cook the pastries next. The capsicums are best cooked the meal they are being eaten for (although they are delicious cold for lunch the next day).

Shopping list

(apart from the mince, this list does not include what you need to make your spaghetti bolognaise mince sauce)

  • Refrigerated / Frozen items: 3 kgs mince, 2 packets grated cheese, sour cream, shortcrust and puff pastry, frozen vegetables (optional), 1 egg (optional)
  • Vegetables: English spinach, 2 red capsicums (serves 4)
  • Grocery items: 1 sml tin kidney beans, 1 medium tin kidney beans, cumin powder (optional), tortillas, 1 sml packet microwave rice, 2 packets white sauce mix (more if you like more sauce), baking paper, spray oil
  • Any additional sides such as salad, vegetables and garlic bread

Happy bites, Briohny


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2 comments

Marita Beard August 2, 2013 - 5:54 PM

Oh yum those mince puff pastry squares look fabulous.

Reply
Katrina August 3, 2013 - 9:57 AM

they do don’t they Marita, I made some scrolls the other day with left over mince and puff pastry, so yummy

Reply

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