A good savoury mince is hugely versatile. Have it with pasta, potatoes, rice or simply on top of a thick slice of bread. Make a big batch and freeze whatever you don't eat straight away.
¼ cup olive oil, plus extra for the salad dressing
1kg beef mince
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 small eggplant, finely chopped
1 tbsp Vegemite
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp salt, plus extra to season
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 cups red wine
3 cups beef stock
2 bay leaves
5 sprigs thyme
50g butter, softened, plus extra for the toast
2 tbsp plain flour
black pepper, to season
½ a loaf of good sourdough
3 cups rocket
½ cup picked parsley leaves
juice of 1 lemon
1. Heat a large casserole over high heat, add a little olive oil and brown the mince well in batches. Remove from the pot. Add the remaining oil and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the onion, carrot, celery and eggplant and cook for 15-20 minutes, until the mixture is very soft and lightly browned.
2. Add the Vegemite and tomato paste and cook for a minute or two, then return the beef to the pot and add the salt, sugar, soy, wine, stock, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 1½ hours, covered, stirring occasionally and adding more liquid if necessary. Combine the softened butter and flour and stir into the mince until it thickens and becomes glossy. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Grill thick slices of the sourdough and brush with a little more butter. Combine the rocket and parsley leaves and dress with olive oil and lemon. Serve the red wine mince on the toast with the rocket and parsley salad on the side.
Adam's tip A good savoury stew should incorporate ingredients and processes that boost its umami taste. Look for umamirich ingredients like tomato paste, Vegemite, soy sauce and stock, and make sure you brown meat well to get as much taste into your stewed dishes as possible.
If you like this recipe, try Adam Liaw's Cauliflower parmesan