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Minced. Ground. Loose. Fun with dead flesh...

I suspect that I have had a moment, a special moment.    

I have been consuming sausages from my local butcher. They are made to a good recipe but he doesn't always sell them 'fresh' . So I'm giving up on snags -- my preferred breakfast fare.

Snags and sauerkraut everyday early.

I could make my own -- and have done so in the past -- but really, sausage making works best as  a team effort akin to  the communalism inherent with bottling tomatoes, wine or Grappa.

On your ownsome it's tedious.

So I'm off the snags...and instead have turned my creative juices to the potentials of ground meat. Yes I know sausages are made from minced meat  but when you don't use a casing the meat ain't a snag.

In Arab countries -- because of the Moslem tradition -- casings aren't traditionally used and you have this wonderful "meat ball" and "meat flat" tradition instead.

Think: kokta.
The meat is often mixed with other ingredients such as rice, bulgur, vegetables, or eggs to form a smooth paste. Koftas are sometimes made with fish or vegetables rather than red meat, especially in India. They can be grilled, fried, steamed, poached, baked or marinated, and may be served with a rich spicy sauce. Variations occur in North Africa, the Mediterranean, Balkans and South Asia. In Pakistan, koftas are made of beef and chicken. According to a 2005 study done by a private food company, there were 291 different kinds of kofta in Turkey including the Inegol Koftesi, where it is very popular. In Arab countries, kufta is usually shaped into cigar-shaped cylinders.
But then mince is often cooked and served "loose" as in meat pie fillings and in sauces such as Bolognaise.

Grind it up. Add spices. Onions. Garlic. Wine. Tomatoes. Capers. Olives. Whatever. The permutations seem endless. 

So therein my special moment arrived.

What a gastronomical hobby it would be, thought I, to really start working with  minced meat. A sausage casing does contain the meat so that it stews in its own  juices. This is why you don't prick sausages. However, braising ground meat with culinary additions offers a different coming together of  flavours just as combining meat into shapes -- meat balls, patties and loafs -- also changes  the medley.

If you don't relate to that go try some really good kofta or a Lebanese pizza (traditionally flavoured with Pomegranate juice)or some meaty moussaka...

Of course, minced meat is supposed to be cheap. Not so much the case today but still it isn't expensive . You can also combine minces -- beef with lamb; chicken with pork.... Indeed the only thing you need to be aware if when using ground meat is contamination as  the increased surface area of the  raw ground flesh makes the meat more prone to bug infiltration.

So "fresh" matters more so than with standard meat cuts. That's also why so much mince meat is sold with preservatives added.

But cook it and it will keep longer.

So you see my drift?  I'm not talking hamburgers. I'm meditating on the gastronomic  possibilities of  mincing dead animals. 




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