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Justine Pattison's slow cooker magic mince

She’s back to take the stress out of cooking. Justine Pattison is proving that using your slow cooker is one of the best ways to batch cook. Plus, she’s teaching us how to freeze it into individual portions that can be reheated in 5 mins or less.

Slow cooker magic mince

Serves: 8-10


2 x 500g packs beef mince

2 medium onions, peeled and chopped

2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes

4 tbsp tomato puree

2 beef stock cubes

2 tsp dried oregano

1-2 small bay leaves (optional)

Ground black pepper


1. Put the beef mince and onions in a large deep frying pan or sauté pan and fry for 8-10 minutes over a high heat until the beef is no longer pink. Use two wooden spatulas or spoons to break the meat up as it cooks.

2. Tip carefully into a slow cooker.

3. Stir in the canned tomatoes. Fill one of the cans with cold water and add to the slow cooker (this will be around 400ml water).

4. Stir in the tomato puree, crumbled stock cube, oregano and bay leaves, if using. Season with lots of ground black pepper.

5. Cover with the lid and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours, or until the mince is tender and the sauce has thickened and is a deep, rich red colour.

6. Take the cooked mince out of the slow cooker, set aside what you want to serve immediately and transfer the rest to a wide-based dish or tin and leave to cool. Place in the fridge or divide into portions and freeze.

For your magic mince ‘pop ups’:

1. Divide your magic mince between the holes of a silicone muffin mould or muffin tin lined with paper cup cases.

2. Freeze until solid.

3. Pop the frozen mince mixture out of the ‘tin’, transfer to a labelled bag, seal tightly. Freeze for up to 3 months.

4. Take as many portions as you need and cook from frozen or thaw and use asrequired. (One portion makes a small 125g serving, two portions for a mediumserving and three for a large serving.)

5. Two portions can be heated from frozen in the microwave on HIGH for 3-4 mins, stirring halfway, until hot throughout. Alternatively, put into a small saucepan with a generous splash of water, cover and heat through gently until completely thawed and hot throughout, stirring regularly.

Justine serving suggestions:

Chilli con carneSimmer with 1-2 tsp chipotle paste and canned red kidney beans; serve with rice or spoon into warmed wraps

Spaghetti Bolognese Leave just as it is or add some lightly fried sliced mushrooms and serve over spaghetti.

Keema curry Simmer within 1-2 tsp medium curry paste and frozen peas; serve with naan bread or rice.

Stuffed jacket potato Spoon into a hot jacket potato and serve with grated cheese and salad.

Cheesy cottage pie Add frozen peas and top with mashed potatoes and grated cheese; grill or bake until browned.

Pasta bakeToss with cooked pasta, cover with grated cheese and pop under the grill until lightly browned.

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