Friday 27 July 2012

Like My Nan Used to Make

Australia is made up of so many different cultures all with wonderful food traditions. So many different flavours and cooking methods. Me? I come from a long line of Brits and am only second generation Australian. This means childhood meals weren't full of spices or unconventional meats or vegetables. For a while I felt a little miffed that I had no ability to eat chilli and that the smell of certain cured meats made me want to gag. It has paid off in the end because I seem to have a fairly sound knowledge of failsafe friendly food.

One set of grandparents were from Scotland and we used to eat with them quite a lot so it wasn't always fancy. The thing that my Nanna used to make quite often was Mince and Tatties a very traditional scottish meal. It is a savoury mince stew which is cheap and filling and is one of my comfort foods. My Nan would use gravox or vegemite to add a kick of flavour to the gravy and there was always peas and carrots in it. My version probably bears very little resemblance to hers or a traditional one, but it hits the spot.

Mince and Tatties
  • 500g Beef mince 
  • 2 tsp failsafe oil
  • 1/2 large leek, finely chopped
  • 1 small stick celery, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup whiskey
  • 2 cups stock (I used vegetable)
  • 1/2 swede, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup lentils (I used a mixture of red and french this time)
  • 1/2 choko, finely diced
  • 3 brussel sprouts, finely chopped
  • large handful of beans, chopped
  • salt to taste 
  • 1 Tbsp rice flour
  • Mashed potato to serve
  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan and gently saute the leek, garlic and celery.
  2. Add mince and fry, breaking up the mince as it is cooking.
  3. Once the mince is lightly cooked add the whiskey and turn the heat up so that it starts to boil.
  4. Add the swede, lentils, choko and stock, bring to the boil and then gently simmer for about 15mins, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the sprouts and beans and simmer until the lentils and veg are cooked.
  6. Mix flour with a little water and add to thicken.
  7. Check seasoning and add salt to taste.
  8. Serve with mashed potato.

 Salicylates - Use onions instead of leeks and add diced carrots.
Glutamates - Use green peas.

Leftovers are particularly nice on toast for an easy meal or thickened a bit more and used as a pie filler.


  1. can I ask what oil(s) you use that are FAILSAFE thanks

  2. Hi there. I use additive free canola oil often one of the supermarket's own brand. I tend to avoid sunflower as I can't stand the taste.