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Savory mince is minced meat such as beef intended to be used in savory dishes such as Bolognese, shepherd’s pie or meatballs. It can also be used in dishes such as chili, burgers and enchiladas. Vegetarian savory mince is also widely available and can be bought frozen, while beef mince ordinarily comes fresh but can be purchased frozen as well. The meat goes through a mincing machine, and the resulting texture consists of thin strands. Beef mince can be from various different parts of the cow.
The word mince technically means to cut something into small pieces, but the machines that are used to mince meat typically push meat that's been chopped finely through small holes. Savory mince looks stringy and is usually packaged in rectangular blocks. Vegetarian savory mince comes frozen, and the mince comes in small chunks. Sweet mince is used in cakes such as mince pies, and is made with mixed dried fruit such as raisins and sultanas; brandy and sherry can also be used in the mixture for sweet mince. This does not go through a mincing machine, so it looks more like a mass of finely chopped fruit.
Although sweet mince and savory mince have mincing in common, they look and taste very different. Because mincing is merely the process of chopping something finely, mince can be made out of anything. Savory mince could technically contain anything from pork to asparagus, but is usually made from beef.
This ingredient is a part of many dishes, with the flavor dependent on the type of meat used and the spices or herbs that are put into it. Some common dishes that use savory mince include spaghetti Bolognese, burgers and chili. To make a beef burger, mince is combined with onion and a binding agent such as egg and then formed into patties. In most dishes, the savory mince is shallowly fried until it goes from pink to brown in color. In dishes such as Bolognese, this is done before the main bulk of the sauce is added.
Savory mince can be bought in many different grades. Ordinary mincemeat is very fatty, and will shrink a lot when cooked. Most shops also offer lean or extra lean types of mince, which have less fat. Butchers often have mincing machines on site, so customers can request to have their chosen cut of beef or any other meat minced on the spot.
@Grivusangel -- I think you're right about how the US got the word arugula. I imagine English travelers brought it back to England and they came up with "rocket". But we got the Italian word from Italian immigrants. That's how language works.
I've never heard the term "savory mince" either. I'm sure any readers from the UK who see this will wonder what's going on over here, but really, we use the term "ground" plus the meat in question. It's sort of a given that it's savory, unless it's mincemeat, in which case that's the filling in a pie commonly seen around Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Vegetarian savory mince is usually marketed as "vegetarian crumbles" on this side of the pond. Same stuff, though.
In American parlance, "minced beef" is ground beef. Same thing, just a different term. I've never really heard the term "savory mince" in the U.S. Ground beef, yes, or mincemeat (as a sweet version), but not savory mince. I guess it makes about as much sense as anything else, but this is very much a UK term. Doesn't make it wrong, by any means -- just different.
It's kind of like rocket and arugula. Same thing. I suspect Americans use "arugula" because that's the term Italian immigrants brought over, so that's how it came into the lexicon. It’s just who used the term first.
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