3 Comments

How to Avoid Having Horse in Your Lasagne or Burgers

The answer is really quite simple – make your own! I realize I’m probably preaching to the converted here but I still think it’s worth saying that you can only truly know what is in your food if you make it from scratch.May 2012 039

The food industry is a massive business, with producers, abattoirs, and manufactures all trying to make a profit, as well as more unscrupulous people trying to make a quick buck and cut costs and sometimes corners. With the rising cost of animal feed and meat is anyone really surprised that something like this has happened? I’d like to make it clear I’m not against eating horse meat, the thing that has shocked me about this is that it is being sold as beef, and comes from probably questionable and unregulated sources.

As consumers we need to take more interest in and care about what we are eating. Food is the fuel for our bodies after all! Would you put sub-standard fuel in your car?

Then there’s the argument that people don’t have enough time or money to to prepare their own food. That the “kinds of people” that buy these cut price products don’t have any other choice. I find that argument ridiculous and faintly condescending, I reckon at least 90%, at one time or another has brought value range frozen burgers – whether as a student, when planning a big BBQ on a budget, or just simply because they’re convenient to have in the freezer. The same goes with frozen ready meals, Findus is an established and trusted brand, friend to those on a diet, the short of time, and the breaded pancake lovers.

EVERYONE is affected by this issue.

It’s not just the presence of errant species and alien DNA in food that’s the issue either – just what exactly is in your mince or sausages? If they knew most people would probably never eat them again. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against snout to tail eating, I think far too many good cuts are wasted or unavailable due to perceived consumer squeamishness or ignorance, but the fact is that in our mince and sausages are massive amounts of fat.

When families who are on a budget but want to eat well opt for mince are they making the best decision for their wallets and their waistline? And how long is it until we discover other animal DNA in our fresh mince, a lot of the cheapest packs of mince available in our supermarkets already mix beef with pork to keep the cost down.

I’ve blogged before about making my own burgers and mincing my own meat. Neither are difficult or time consuming. You know exactly what is in your food and it honestly tastes better for it. Using meat I’ve minced myself makes the best stew, it’s not all watery and greasy, the mince doesn’t shrink down with cooking and goes a lot further as a result! Buy some brisket or braising steak and mince it as it is, or remove the fat if you want it to be healthier. You can buy hand mincers for little over £10, and electric ones for £30, or you could just pick out a pieces of meat and ask your butcher to trim and mince it for you. IMG-20121014-00988

IMG-20121007-00972IMG-20121007-00967I last made burgers before I had my mincer so I did just use shop-bought british mince, but it was definitely 100% beef and the burger wasn’t bulked out with anything else.

Make big batches of these foods and freeze them yourself. Why rely on Findus to stock your freezer? Just one day of serious cooking, or a couple of afternoons, a month could see you stocked up for ages. All you need are foil trays, plastic containers, or to freeze bigger batches you can get pyrex dishes with plastic lids.

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3 comments on “How to Avoid Having Horse in Your Lasagne or Burgers

  1. Your burgers look perfect – mine looked like bizarre tubes. As for horse meat – I was quite surprised how complicated the food chain was from the Polish meat producer to the Tesco burger product – about 5 stages and most of those were simply shifting the raw meat from one building to another – weird. They could probably save money if they just purchased direct?

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