Mincespiration - Dean Edwards
Bantam Press - 2013
Photography: Martin Poole
Mince is an easy and cheap way of eating meat although, as Edwards points out the more you can spend and the higher the quality of meat you purchase, the better. This selection is a lovely range of recipes that really make you realise just how much you can make with minced meat.
Some of the recipes are a little odd - mince where you wouldn't expect to find it but there are lots of very welcome surprises. The meals are mostly quite heavy although there are a few lighter dishes dotted throughout. There is a range of difficulty and time required with the majority taking either a bit of prep time or longer cooking.
The addition of a sweets section is unnecessary and the recipes are rather average. The side dishes are a nice touch but again it feels like it is detracting from the main point of the cookbook. Obviously this is otherwise almost all meat based but there is a good balance between the types of meat used. For a book all about one ingredient there is a wide range of different types of meals included from pastas and pizza to stews and burgers, salads and curries.
The photography is wonderful, the only problem is that there are not enough pictures and they are perhaps not of the most useful dishes - lots of people know what a dish of spaghetti Bolognese looks like so the photo isn't needed and it would have been much better to know what the Sheftalia looks like.
The sections are arranged by different types of meat, which makes it really easy to use if you want to try something out. It would be a great cookbook to keep and use whenever you buy a pack of pork/lamb/turkey/beef mince. The lamb section was particularly good with lots of classic flavours in innovative recipes. My favourite dishes were the Meaty Lamb Spanakopita, the Miso Chicken Noodle Broth, the Stuffed Courgette Melt and the Minced Beef Hash.
Although, for some of the recipes it seems like mince might be an odd choice it works very well and having these ideas will certainly increase the number of meal options to get out of a very everyday ingredient. This is a lovely book, full of easy-to make recipes and great flavours.