Sunday, 19 July 2009

Baked Beans with Minced Beef

I remember when growing up as a kid, when my mother would cook a variety of dishes prior to receiving me from primary school for lunch. One of these was Heinz Baked Beans cooked together with minced pork and onions, served with bread. As the years wore on, I grew into teenhood, and the memories of lunch at home faded away as I spent more afternoons in school.

When coming up with material for this blog, I wanted to do an item which featured the Basics Minced Beef (I'll explain why later). My thoughts went back to my childhood days, and then I remembered that my mom supposedly said that she used to cook this for my dad when they were both overseas. This would then be a good example of what one can do with the things found in the UK.

I first encountered the Basics Minced Beef in first year, and one of the first things which struck me was its high fat content. This post is hence meant to warn readers about the dangers of buying this, and what measures one can take if one is forced to use this.

To remove the fat from the minced beef I borrowed an idea from Top Secret Recipes. In their recipe which copied the chilli (as in chilli con carne) from world's 3rd largest hamburger chain Wendy's, the site noted that the meat in the chilli is derived as follows: burgers which are left for longer than a specified time are disassembled and the patties boiled for an extended period of time to extract it of fat, before being made into chilli.

So this was what I did. After cooking the beef thoroughly and pouring away the fat, I subjected the mince beef to an extended period of boiling, roughly for one hour. The end result can be found in the photos. I've also included a shot showing the amount of fat I extracted through initial cooking.

By this time I was tired of cooking any more, so I just dumped the baked beans into a microwavable bowl, mixed the meat in, and microwaved for about 6 minutes. The end result was passable: The beans are acceptable, if the sauce is a little thin, something that could be remedied by boiling off the water. The beef by this stage tasted very bland, and is definitely not worth the effort.

The trade-up premium for the minced beef is for the standard minced beef. I'd strongly suggest that you spend a little more and get the lean steak mince.

DescriptionPrice per UnitNo. of servings
Trade-up Premium
Trade-up Benefits
Minced Beef

Leaner, better tasting meat, no need to resort to above-described measures. Recommended.
Baked Beans

+8% content in beans.

1 comment:

  1. I actually think Sainsbury's Basics Mince Beef is one of the best things they have in that range, sometimes I'll specifically go there just to stock up on them if I'm passing. I have some standard mince from Co-Op in the freezer along with some Sainsbury's and the Basics stuff actually has less fat at 17.6g whereas Co-Op's is 20g for £2.19 both packs are 400g. I think it's a mix of different cuts rather than just steak which lowers the cost. I'll have to check the Aberdeen Angus packs I sometimes buy and see how much fat that contains. It's far better compared to some low cost mince I've tried, that are still more expensive at £1.50, which renders shocking amounts of fat and looks oddly processed rather than just minced whole and is more likely the kind of meat you find in some nasty pre-frozen mince. I'd also recommend the Basics whole 'Parmesan', not that much difference between taste and texture compared to most regular PDO stuff you can buy everywhere as far as I can tell, perhaps slightly harder when you open the pack which happens anyway.

    Great Blog, very enjoyable read!


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