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Armoury Kitchen Choose your weapons


DAILY GRIND


A pleasing ’50s throwback, this traditional cast iron mincer is the perfect kitchen buddy when cooking up filling, warming meals the whole family will love, says MATT BIELBY


Remember that famous magazine cover, with the woman being fed into a mincer, and the words “we will no longer hang women up like pieces of meat”? This is the sort of mincer you could feed your sister’s Barbie dolls into to recreate it! Actually, I don’t remember it at all. Perhaps because I’m not American, and I’m not old enough, but – mostly – because I’m a nice boy, and never picked up magazines like that. [It was Hustler, if you’re asking - Ed] It sounds like a very mixed message, equally pro-porn and a damning commentary upon it, offering up an image both sexual and revolting – which was, I’m guessing, exactly the point.


I have another secret sin to confess. Once, as an annoying little brat, I knocked a meat mincer like this one from the


kitchen table, where it glanced off my baby sister’s forehead, leaving a nasty gash. I actually feel guilty just looking at it! Let’s move away from the horrific symbolism of these devices, if we may, and from your sorry personal history too. Looking at it purely as a practical tool, the Kitchen Craft Cast Iron Mincer has a lot to recommend it. Made of pleasingly industrial- looking iron, it’s perfect if you’re in the market for meatballs, bolognese, lasagne, chilli, burgers, or perhaps shepherd’s pie. Just stick diced lumps of beast in the top and turn the handle – three disks allow for different chunkiness of mince – or fit the sausage- making attachment if you enjoy your meat tubular.


It actually sounds rather brilliant, and so easy to use. Absolutely! This is safe, handy, supremely useful and,


at £27.95, usefully affordable too – the only thing you really have to remember is to look after it properly. Coating the chopping bits in vegetable oil before use helps, and you have to be sure to hand wash and dry afterwards. This thing is made of


untreated cast iron, after all, so it’ll rust if left damp.


Thinking about it, half my favourite dinners are made of mince! It is, in many ways, the most versatile of cuts – economic too, and great for warming, family-friendly dishes of all types. The only thing to worry about is that – unlike with whole cuts of animal – the bulk of it isn’t kept sterile until cooking, and bacterial contamination can quickly establish itself all the way through. That’s why having


THIS MONTH – Bronze age – The blades themselves – The Sims


your own mincer is so cool – you can store your meat in larger, safer chunks, then turn it into mince just before you need it.


C’mon, that’s not much of a worry. I don’t know anyone who got ill from dodgy mince! Then be thankful you didn’t live in America’s Pacific Northwest in the early ’90s, when hundreds were left sick – and four children sadly died – as a result of E.coli contamination at Jack in the Box fast-food outlets. The core problem: undercooked, bacteria-heavy patties. (Also, they had poo in them – but we won’t go there.)


Thanks for that. Now I feel dirtier than I did thinking about that magazine cover! I live to serve.


✱ Available from Kitchens in Bristol and Bath; buy in store, or at kitchenscookshop.co.uk


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