Nikomiso Danger mince (TM)

I remember my mother making mince and gravy, or sometimes even curried mince? Oh how I loved it, just plain cooked mince, onions and gravy. Back in the day, Mum just browned some minced meat, stirred in some Bisto gravy and poured it onto a fried slice. Isn’t it funny how a taste or a smell can take you so far back down memory lane? There are countless (and often controversial) versions of the recipe for mince and tatties. Mince is a fantastically versatile ingredient.It is the key to classics such as chilli, burgers, bolognese, lasagne, burritos, meatballs and meatloaf, shepherds pie, cottage pie ( left )
plus lots lots more.Ground beef is a great ingredient for many reasons. For starters, it’s quite economical. It also cooks up quickly, making it perfect for late night dinners. Not to mention, it’s filling and a good source of iron. But this workhorse ingredient is rarely allowed to live up to its true potential.
It’s great in classic dishes like those I have listed above, but ground beef is a true globe-trotter, found in dishes from Mexico to Morocco, and mince and tatties in Scotland. 
I use mince in too many ways to name, but one I’ve been particularly fond of lately is in Nikumiso, which is basically just pork mince, cooked with onions, ginger, sesame oil, miso, and a bit of sugar. It’s sweet and salty and meaty and very very good. Usually you’d have it on rice, but it’s also good with noodles, on bread, or wrapped in lettuce. I served it as a topping for baked potatoes recently and it was  overly delicious. It’s also good cold, with the texture of a very coarse, meaty pate. In Japan its referred to as paste or base before being cut with lettuce leaves as street food. Perhaps my favourite rendering of mince though is from the Quality Chop House in London´s Farringdon. They are well known for their mince on dripping toast.
Beef mince on dripping toast at the Quality Chop House,London

Niku Miso 肉味噌

1/2 medium brown onion
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tsp garlic, minced
10 oz (300 g) ground pork 
2 Tbsp sugar 
2 Tbsp Sherry
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
3-4 Tbsp red Miso Paste

Chop brown onion finely. Set aside.
In a frying pan, heat oil at medium heat with ginger and garlic. When the oil starts to be aromatic, add ground pork and cook until the colour changes. Then add chopped onion, and cook until soft. Season with sugar, Sake, Soy Sauce, and Miso paste. Cook about 5 minutes.


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