Mince is a food product obtained from grinding just about any type of meat - pork, veal, chicken, various types of game, fish and so on. The secret to truly delicious mince lies in the correct proportions between the amount of ground meat to the combination of different spices. The spices depend on the type of dish you intend to prepare with the mince.
A delicious mince must neither be too fatty, nor too dry, it has to be juicy. Pork meat without any fat is therefore not suitable, what is is fattier meat which can even contain some lard. When mixing pork and veal, the quantity of the latter must always be less.
It is impossible to achieve a fine tasting mince, even with a lot of spices, if we don't choose the right meat for the job. Mince can be made from any type of meat - from game to domesticated fowl. The combination and proportions all interplay and so are of prime significance when it comes to taste.
Composition of Mince
The chemical composition of the mince depends on the type of minced meat - pork, veal, beef etc. Of course, adding eggs, cheese, dried bread, spices and so on change the mince's composition. Mince is a cholesterol-rich food but is richer in protein than in fats and contains almost 0 carbohydrates. It is a good food for people who actively exercise and for those who carry out hard physical labor.
Choosing and Storing Mince
When choosing packaged mince, always check the ingredients and if the content of fat is high or there are enhancers and preservatives, do not buy that product. Mince from different types of meat is different in color, with blood red being veal. If buying pork with a saturated red color, this most likely means that it contains artificial colors.
A mince mix of veal and pork is a popular combination. If the pork meat is fattier, then combine it in a 60 to 40 ratio with the veal, and if not then use a 70 to 30 ratio. If you're not sure of the quality of a ready-made product, you can always ask to get it freshly ground at meat markets. This would guarantee you giving your money for a truly quality product.
There is a palette of different mince types offered in stores - sandwich mince, healthy mince, mince for grilling, for barbecue, frying, etc. This is more of a sales tactic because you can just as easily make meatballs from a sandwich mince. The only real difference is in the amount and types of spices added.
You can also find frozen mince in supermarket freezers, which needs to be cooked immediately after being thawed and not frozen again. Mince is a product that is best not frozen because this changes its taste and the amount of water in it. For this reason, processed mince often has added salt to act as a preservative.
Numerous marketing tricks are used to sell mince, in most cases masking low quality or semi rotten meat. Salt being added to mince is the best case scenario... but in most cases they add all kinds of preservatives. That is why you should mince your own meat at home or have it done on the spot in the supermarket.
Ready-made mince from game or domesticated fowl can rarely be found, which is why you would have to prepare it at home anyway. Store the bought mince for up to several days in the fridge. If you like you can freeze it. If you keep it too long it may start giving off an odor.
Cooking with Mince
As a rule, vegetables, eggs, spices, bread, breadcrumbs and other ingredients can be added to the mince and then used to form different types of dishes. It can be used to make soups, as well as main courses, barbecue specialties, to make raw smoked, boiled and dried sausages. For a tasty sujuk, the combination of horse, pork and veal meat is ideal.
When making this type of sausage keep in mind that the percentage of the driest meat needs to be highest. You can try 60% horse meat, 20% fattier pork and 20% veal. Horse meat is very lean and contains the purest form of protein.
The right spices are also of great importance but usually this is a matter of personal taste. In general, spices for mince are the same as those for other meat - cumin, allspice, salt, black pepper, sometimes paprika, chili, dried garlic and others. They provide the finishing touches to any dish and can also be the final "secret ingredient" to your delicious mince.
Recipe for Grilled Kebab
Ingredients: 17.5 oz mince, 1 tsp cumin, 3-4 garlic cloves, salt to taste, black pepper to taste.
Preparation: Knead the mince well with the spices and pressed garlic. Let it sit for about 30 min in the fridge. Mix vinegar and water in a bowl. Dip your hands in it and shape elongated and smooth sausage kebabs. Grill them until ready. These ingredients are enough for about 15 kebabs.
If you're a vegetarian or simply avoid eating meat and try to eat healthier, here's a vegetarian recipe:
Recipe for Soya Meatballs
Preparation: Soak the soya overnight in cold water. Wash it the next morning and boil it for an hour and 30 min. on a slow fire. Then salt, cool it and knead it until it starts to look like mince. Mix it with the onions that have been finely chopped and braised beforehand, as well as with the bread slices (without the crust) that have been soaked in soy milk and slightly drained.
Mix with the finely chopped parsley, salt, paprika, black pepper and other spices to taste as well. From this mixture form oval meatballs and roll them in breadcrumbs. Fry until golden in hot oil or bake the soy meatballs in the oven, pouring drops of oil over them. Bake 40 min. at 392°F (200 °C), flipping on both sides.
Dangers of Mince
Mince is relatively rich in nonessential fat, while pork itself has a high level of cholesterol. Heat treatment related to frying and grilling at high temperatures can produce trans fats in your food. Lately, researchers have been warning us ever more insistently about the irreversible changes resulting from the burning of animal fat at excessively high temperature, in turn creating toxic and carcinogenic substances.