The tastiest mince recipe ideas

It's one of the most popular choices at the butcher's or supermarket, but mince has a dull reputation. With a few fresh mince recipe ideas though, it can be more than just a comfort food staple. Look beyond beef mince and explore the possibilities of lamb and pork for variations on the traditional family dinner.

Mince magic

No apologies for starting with an old favourite. Shepherd's pie is a classic for a reason and any list of mince recipe ideas has to acknowledge its status as a mainstay of traditional British cuisine. Strictly speaking, when made with beef mince rather than lamb, it should be called a cottage pie. Tweak the traditional recipe by adding celeriac to the mash and serving with tangy red cabbage.

Mix browned mince and onions with cooked rice and spices for a quick and easy stuffing for peppers. This is a versatile recipe that can be customised to suit individual preferences and to complement the sweetness of the peppers.

Lamb mince is ideal in Middle Eastern or Indian dishes. Heavily seasoned with garlic, herbs, mint and paprika, with egg to bind, lamb mince can be moulded into meatballs or long, skewered shish kebabs. Stew in rich tomato sauce or grill over a barbecue and serve with soft, toasted pitta bread, plenty of salad and optional chilli sauce.

Pork mince tends to be overlooked in the supermarket aisles. It is actually a very useful ingredient for using in Asian stir-fries. With ginger, mirin, soy sauce and chilli, it makes a sweet and spicy accompaniment to noodles that only takes about 15 minutes to prepare and cook.

Quality above quantity

Most mince recipe ideas will benefit from using a high-quality mince. This not necessarily mean very lean meat, as some fat is useful in cooking. Steer clear of dull, greyish mince and consider paying a little more for mince from a reputable local butcher rather than opting for convenient supermarket packs.

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