When time is scarce and cooking should be quick and simple, minced meat dishes are an all-time favourite. Meatballs, Meat Loaves or a simple Ragu a la Bolognese just to name a few dishes are always popular and can easily be combined with pasta, potatoes, rice and vegetables alike.
A real trend are minced meat dishes from the Mediterranean or Asia. Different herbs and seasonings can change a simple recipe into a more spicy, delicious and tasty meal.
But minced meat is not always just minced meat. Already when shopping in the supermarket or at the butchers, freshness and quality should not be overlooked or neglected. The right way of storing minced meat is equally important to guarantee its freshness if not used immediately.
Also, beware of the precentage of fat. Ground beef should not have more than 20% fat, whereas ground pork should not have have more than 35% fat. Mixed minced meat, half pork, half beef should not have more than 30% fat.
Minced meat can also be made from veal, lamb, chicken and turkey and again, where good quality is equally important.
Steak Tartar is ground raw beef or horse meat. It is regarded as a gourmet dish.
In order to get the best quality, ideally minced meat should be produced right in front of your eyes where the butcher processes the meat by pushing it through the meat mincing machine. The longer minced meat is exposed to air and just placed behind the counter, the greater the risk is that germs have multiplied on the surface of the meat. Once meat has been processed in a meat mincer this process cannot be stopped anymore. The amount of germs increases every 20 minutes, even when stored in the correct cooling place at the correct temperature. In summer, when minced meat is transported and exposed to higher temperatures, those germs can multiply four times as fast. So do not hesitate to ask your local butcher or at your supermarket for how long the minced meat has already been on display in the fridge. If you are not sure or think you don't know when you are actually going to use it, then persist on having it processed right in front of your eyes as you are waiting.