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Vegan MoFo Day 2 - Recreate a childhood meal: Mince, meet cauliflower


When I think of my childhood, I think of a lot of meat. And specifically, mince.

Mince was cheap and, according to my parents, versatile. It featured in bolognaise, meatballs, lasagne, and tonnes of other dishes. TONNES OF THEM *shudder*.

Once, when there was nothing in the fridge but some tomatoes, an onion, cauliflower, and some mince, my mum just fried it all up and served it to us. It may have been a meal made of desperation and dearth, but me and my brother liked it and it came to feature at family meal times every now and again. It wasn't a frequent visitor to the table given the amount of fat and salt it involved, and eventually ma stopped cooking it.

I hadn't thought about it for years, but when I saw today's MoFo challenge, it was the first thing that popped into my mind.

Many years have passed since I last ate the cauli-mince thing, my palate has changed, and the thought of revisiting my childhood meal didn't exactly fill me with joy. I still like all the individual ingredients - especially now the mince is Fry's, rather than actual dead meat - but wouldn't it be really bland, I wondered? Would all those ingredients actually be edible if you put them together, I mused? Only one way to find out...

Here's what I did:

Flicking the Vs family fry - serves two

Ingredients
Vegan butter - the dirtier the better
One onion, sliced thinly
Three tomatoes, each chopped into eight
Half a cauliflower, divided into small florets
100g mince
Lots of salt and pepper

How you do it
Warm a lot of butter over a medium heat
Sweat the onion until almost soft - 20 minutes or so.
Add the tomatoes and allow to break down until juice comes out - another 10 to 15 minutes.
Add the florets and cook until the florets are done. Add a splash of water, stock, wine or something like that if the liquid evaporates before the cauli is cooked.
Add mince and warm through.
Serve.

Here's the end result:



So, what was the verdict? Well, as you can see, it's not going to win any beauty contests - exactly how I remember it!

But was it edible? Yes! It's not pretty, and it's not haute cuisine, but I still actually surprised myself by enjoying eating it. The onion and tomato make a great thick sauce, and I love cauli in all its forms. Happily, Fry's also make some very good mince too.

Of course, with so many years between the last time I ate this and the current incarnation, I couldn't just leave the recipe untouched. I added a lot of hot sauce. Childhood-me might not have liked it, but grown-up me thought it was just fine.

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9 comments

  1. Looks pretty tasty to me. Loving seeing what everyone is coming up with for Day 2 posts. Pleased to see you are doing Mofo this year. I didn't manage to sign up but I'm going to try and do the odd blog post and am posting some things on Twitter (@cakelibfront)

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  2. Looks delicious to me - I grew up on mince meat though not with cauli - I have made mince meat of cauliflower occasionally

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  3. I thought of a few fairly bland childhood favourites too that gave me a bit of fear (didn't end up making them though). Good idea spicing it up with some hot sauce! :)

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  4. I asked my sisters what they remember eating a lot as kids and it was chicken this and chicken that, so many birds, it was pretty horrifying in retrospect, I didn't want to think about it either. Cauliflower is so versatile!

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  5. I don't know, I think I would eat the hell out of that. Sometimes (most times?) I just want my food to taste like its ingredients, you know?

    Also, I love the new look!

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  6. these day 2 posts are the best! i love hearing about everyone's childhoods

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  7. Very interesting! I've never had mince anything, but it isn't a popular item here in the states. However, you make it look delicious!

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  8. Looks great! I think there was a fair bit of mince going round when I was a kid - patties and bolognaise amongst other things - I was never a fan, even of bolognaise sauce - I was very picky as a child (well, where meat was involved!)

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  9. Ha, we had bowls of mince regularly when I was a child, usually with peas, onion and carrots mixed in. Bolognese sauce if you were lucky. I would totally eat this! Generally things cooked in pools of vegan butter please me immensely and this looks really nice.

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