99 Station Street

At the centre of the scandal is …




… mince. That’s it plain and simple, mince is what the horse scandal is about. Somewhere along the line from field to shelf, horse has swapped for beef and then minced. The latest twist is that an anti-inflammatory drug has been found in some batches of horse carcass. Journalists have jumped all over “bute” and what it does, but not really looked at the facts. A horse would need this drug about three times per day. Even if the horse was killed at the peak level of the drug in it’s body, broken down and sold as meat, there would be no danger to humans. The level of chemical in the perfect meat specimen would be so low. Enough of the scaremongering, now for the cure.

A lot of the suspect meat has been traced to processed ready meals. It is easy to hide less popular cuts in the mince in these products. It is also becoming apparent that price has been the turning point for the labelling fraud. Luckily many of the products which are “contaminated” also have very little meat content. When a business wins a contract on price alone, there will become a limit to cost cutting. Food laws make it very specific over % of meat content, which meats you can use and also how they are prepared. At some point you can go no cheaper.

If you are worried about the food you have at home, then start from the raw ingredients. You can buy mincers for your home kitchen. They range from the small hand powered ones to electric. The ones driven by handles are great for small batches. Neither are really expensive, ranging from about £20 to £100. The automatic ones tend to have a few extra widgets thrown in, so not just mincers. So you have your carefully selected cuts of whatever meat you want to use going in and mince coming out. What to do with all this mince?

How about this for a short list:
Meat balls for sauce
Meat balls for soup
Spag bol
Chilli con carne
Cottage pie
Mince and onions
Shepherds pie
Stuffed peppers
Keema curry

The beauty is that most of these can be made in bulk and also frozen. Even just part cooked  mince and onions can be stored away for a simple base for the above. If you are worried about your consumption of red meat, don’t be. You can mince chicken and turkey too.