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Alphabet Mince

a nostalgic take on the classic mince & tatties
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Servings: 4 people
Author: Elizabeth


  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery finely chopped
  • 1 carrot finely chopped
  • 0.5 courgette finely chopped
  • 2 large brown mushrooms VERY finely chopped (optional)
  • 500 grams lean steak mince (Aberdeen Angus is nice!)
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 250 ml beef stock (I use half a Knorr stock cube in hot water)
  • 30 grams organic white alphabetti Italian pasta
  • sea salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium high heat.
  • Fry the onion until it softens, about five minutes. Add the celery, carrot, courgette and mushrooms (if using) and fry for a few more minutes.
  • Add the beef mince and season well with salt and pepper. Fry until well browned.
  • Add the Worcestershire sauce and tomato puree and stir until well combined.
  • Pour in the stock, stir well and then sprinkle over the alphabetti pasta. Turn the heat down to medium low and leave to cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is cooked.
  • Serve with a tower of hot buttery mashed potatoes and steamed greens.


My creamy mashed potatoes: Peel and wash around 1 kg floury potatoes such as Maris Piper or the Shetland-grown premier (my absolute favourite!). Chop into 1 inch cubes, pop in a large pan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Gently simmer until tender. A fork, when inserted into a potato, will not be able to pick it up when the potatoes are cooked. Drain cooked potatoes in a colander, return potatoes to the pan and place on the hot hob for around 60 seconds to evaporate the extra moisture. Add 50 grams butter and a good splash of full fat milk and mash until light and creamy. Use a hand mixer to make it extra creamy, if you want.
For my authentic childhood taste serve with a generous spoonful of Cape Breton Chow Chow on the side.
Leftover alphabet mince freezes well.