Mince is a staple in many Australian households, as it offers a wide variety of dinner options for the whole family. There is beef, pork, chicken and turkey mince to choose from at the local supermarket, and they all offer something different. Pork mince, in particular, doesn't have such a strong flavour as beef mince, so you can add other flavours and create a more subtle-flavoured dish. It is a handy, low-cost mince to have in your freezer.
These three pork recipes are used often in our family - to make in batches and freeze for nights when we just don't feel like cooking...and there are plenty of those!
Ingredients to make Family Lasagna, using both pork and beef mince
Ingredients: 2 brown onions (chopped), 2 cloves garlic (chopped finely), 500g beef mince, 500g pork mince, 2 x 800g tins of crushed tomatoes (or 4 x 400g tins), 2 Tablespoons sugar, 250g box of dried lasagna sheets, 50g mozzarella cheese. Cheese sauce: 50g butter, 1/3 cup plain flour, 3 and 1/2 cups milk, 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard, 250g mozzarella cheese
To make the meat sauce, add olive oil to a large cooking pot and saute onions and garlic until soft. Add beef and pork mince to the pot and cook through. Add tinned tomatoes and sugar, and bring to the boil. Reduce temperature and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
To make the cheese sauce, add butter to a saucepan and cook until it melts. Add the flour and stir for 2 minutes. Pour in a small amount of milk and stir with a whisk. As it starts to thicken, continue to add milk and stir until all the milk has gone and it starts to bubble and thicken. Do not stop whisking. Stir in the mustard and add the grated cheese. Stir until cheese melts. Remove from heat.
To make the lasagna, preheat the oven to 160 degrees, fan-forced. Smear meat sauce on the base of the lasagna dish, then layer lasagna sheets, meat and cheese sauce and repeat. Finish with the cheese sauce and extra grated cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly in the tray and then slice up into squares.
* For photo instructions of how to make this lasagna, see here.
There are plenty of leftovers to freeze for other meals!
Ingredients: 500g pork mince, 1 red onion (finely chopped), 1/4 cup plain flour, 1 egg, pepper.
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl with your hands. Form into 4 patties. Cook on the BBQ or hot plate until cooked all the way through. Serve on a soft bun with lettuce, tomato and a spicy tomato relish. To freeze, wrap them individually (uncooked) in two layers of cling film.
3/ Pork & Brown Lentil Pasta Bolognaise
Ingredients: 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped), 1 onion (chopped), 1 carrot (peeled, sliced, quartered), 1 zucchini (sliced and quartered), 250g pork mince (which is half a packet - freeze the rest), 400g can crushed tomatoes (salt reduced), 400g can brown lentils (salt reduced), 3 Tablespoons tomato paste and 2 teaspoons dried rosemary.
Heat oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion and carrot for 5 minutes, until the onion is soft. Add the zucchini, garlic and rosemary and cook for 1 minute. Add the pork mince and cook for 5 minutes, until browned. Into the pot, add the tomato paste and stir for 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup of water and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the tinned tomatoes and 1/3 cup of water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add lentils and simmer for 10 minutes or until sauce thickens. Season with cracked pepper to taste.
These recipes are budget-friendly, easy to make and are full of flavour. Which one will you try this weekend?