Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Going through the mincer...

Back in the January sales DH and I bought a mincer. I had fantasies about roasting a large joint, and producing delicious cottage or shepherds pies the next day. It all fitted in with the lifestyle I would like to lead. Unfortunately the reality is rather different!

On Sunday I slow-roasted a shoulder of lamb with garlic and rosemary. It was very tasty and went down very well. So far, so good. Yesterday I boiled up the bones to make stock. Very domesticated. Today I unpacked the mincer for the first time. It didn't have any instructions, but, hey, I am a modern woman and I fitted it all together:

The first problem was that it didn't clamp onto my work surface, so I faffed around finding a wooden-board it would fit onto. Then came the actual mincing. It was much harder work than I anticipated - I would develop biceps if I did it regularly. Eventually I ended up with what looked like a pile of mince on a plate. Result! I had enough for a small shepherds pie. So I made gravy with the lamb stock, and added it to the mince. 

Now, up to this point I was feeling very smug. Roll over Mrs Beeton! Unfortunately as soon as the gravy hit the mince it collapsed into a pile of what can only be described as mush. I did add the mashed potato and served it to my unsuspecting and long-suffering children. They are used to being experimented on, and are usually tactful in their responses. However, this time they didn't hold back. We abandoned it in favour of cheese sandwiches!

So before I consign my mincer to history or the top of a cupboard, does anyone have any suggestions on how to use it properly?


  1. mom had one that looked very much like this one and I had to grind up meat with it from time to time. It did take muscle power and some finess because it could easily wiggle off the table mom clamped it to. As I remember [lo those many 50? years ago] mom had me grind beef which she then added a little mayonaise and sweet pickle relish to to make sandwich filling. I think she also had me grind beef for minced meat pie filling. I may have ground up giblets for turkey gravie, too. Of the three the minced meat pie filling looked and tasted the best, as I remember it. I believe as an adult I helped a friend grind almonds for a special Norwegian cake recipe which both looked and tasted great, too. Does that help at all?
    Gracie xx

  2. Normally here we grind meat for mince while it is raw.

    If it is cooked we shred it with forks or mince it.

    I am not sure why though.

  3. Hi Lesley we had one of these years ago and my Mum always used it almost daily, but I cannot remember what she did or how it worked - so sorry. I know that you will find a solution Lesley as you always do and wait with interest to see what you come up with. I am sure the meal was very nice even though they also had cheese sandwiches - a great post Lesley, made me chuckle as I have had so many disasters in the kitchen myself.
    Lots of love as always

  4. I have my mum's mincer but have never used it myself. She would mince raw steak and then run a sice of bread through to clean out the last bits of meat, then add the bread to the mince.

  5. Attila, that is what we do, too. Chicken works well. We also have done pork to a make our own sausages.

  6. Thank you everyone. It sounds as if mincing raw meat is the answer. As mince is so cheap, I can see why mincers have gone out of fashion. Lesley

  7. I use my mincer [for cooked meat - esp chicken] and as Attila suggests, a slice of bread at the end to clean the final bits of meat - and stretch it further. Cut your meat into manageable chunks before you try and mince it, and use the bread as a 'pusher' to help it round the screw.

    QUESTION did your mincer come with TWO discs? [one with large, one with smaller holes] Your photo looks as if the front is not screwed right on, and I wonder if you have got BOTH discs there. Try just one - and the mincing may prove easier.

    My mincer is a retro 1970's orange and white plastic Spong, with a suction cup to hold it to the table. I told my fiance it was a waste of money when he bought it back in '78 when we were saving for our wedding. But 35 years on, both he and the mincer still proving very reliable.

    autumn blessings xx

    1. Thanks Angela! It only came with one disc. It was the texture of the results that was the problem - more like meat paste than anything else. I did wonder if it was because I used slow roasted meat so it was very tender. Lesley

  8. Your mincer could be what led to your less than fantastic experience. It looks just like one I returned. The Spong brand had a lot of little features that added to it's usefulness, like the multiple disks for mincing different foods from nuts to meat. And the rubber inserts that go on the top of your table or bench so as not to leave marks. I'm glad I spent the extra time finding mine.

    As to the mincing, if you slice the meat and then thoroughly refrigerate it some people claim a better outcome.


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