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Wednesday
Apr112018

Dad's Mexican mince

I had a craving for my Dad’s Mexican mince recently. We used to get so excited when we were little and came in the door to that unmistakable smell of stewing meat and spices.

Before I moved to the UK it was one of several recipes I made my Dad make in front of me so that he couldn’t “forget” any ingredients. To this day, I still haven’t quite managed to master his “benchmark aioli” and I have always thought that maybe there is something he is not telling me. The Mexican mince, on the other hand, I watched him make step-by-step so there was no room for items to be lost in translation.

Apart from the optional ingredients, this is to the letter. That isn’t to say that it is traditional – I have no idea, my Dad isn’t Mexican – but it tastes damned good and better than any I’ve tried elsewhere, but I have to admit that I haven’t been to Mexico so, until then, I will reserve judgement.

Dad used to serve this as part of a self-service taco spread along with guacamole, refried beans, chunky tomato salsa, shredded lettuce, soured cream and grated cheese. If I can’t be bothered making refried beans as well, I add some red kidney beans to the mince. This makes a more substantial mince which is great  on nachos or as a chilli con carne with rice.

This recipe makes enough mince to serve around 12 people for a big taco spread, but if you are making it for less, it’s great to have leftovers to use in the above dishes and it freezes well if not.

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
500g beef mince
1 cup white wine
1 thumb ginger (3cm approx.), peeled and grated
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
Chicken stock, vegetable stock or water, as required
3 tsp chipotle chilli paste, or to taste
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika, or to taste
3 tsp ground cumin, or to taste
2-3 dried Mexican chillies, e.g. Guanjillo or Ancho, soaked, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
1 x 400g tin red kidney beans, drained (optional)
Juice of half a lime, or to taste
Salt, to taste
1 bunch coriander, finely chopped 

Method

Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over a low heat. Add the onion and garlic, cover and sweat until soft, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the beef mince. Stir constantly to break it up until cooked through.

Add the wine and leave it to bubble and reduce for a minute or two. Add the ginger, tomatoes and enough stock or water to cover the mince. 

Add the chipotle chilli paste, paprika, cumin and chillies if using. Stir to combine.

As with any stewed meat dish, this is better the longer it cooks. Simmer for as long as you can, but for a minimum of 2 hours, topping up with stock or water as required, to stop it burning.

When you are getting close to serving, allow most of the moisture to evaporate, so that it is like a thick ragu. Add the kidney beans if using. Add the lime juice and stir through, then season with salt, to taste. Check the other seasonings too and add more spices as required.

Finally, stir in some freshly chopped coriander just before serving.

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Reader Comments (1)

Ooh yes wonderful. I must nudge Dad to cook it for me. More recently he has served pulled pork with Mexican, also delicious.

April 18, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMa

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