Dad’s mince on toast

Photographer: Emma
Serves about 3

This recipe reminds me of my dad. When we were kids and it was Dad’s choice for dinner it would be either mince on toast or devilled sausages with boiled potatoes; my sister and I were never excited about eating either of these staple meals. But what made up for our basic weeknight fare was that Dad was a secret foodie and for a special treat he would take us out to dinner somewhere with crisp white napkins, water in glass bottles and very polite wait people. Here he would make us try oysters and game meats, offal and splashes of wine. Dad would always order the most obscure thing on the menu and make us try it. If he was lucky we would screw our face in disgust and leave it to him but there were probably times where we enjoyed it so much we wouldn’t leave him much on his plate.

I can completely understand and respect his way of eating and I’ve probably encompassed it myself in my later years. If I’m home on my own I’ll more often than not have scrambled eggs for dinner or an omelette or a sandwich. But when I go out for dinner or cook a special meal I try not to play it too safe.

What makes this recipe perfect for the outdoors is that it’s easy and hearty and you can pre-cut the vegetables and pack them in a sealable bag for easy preparation.


1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 large carrot, diced
2 sticks of celery, diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
500g beef mince
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Water (or beef stock) as required
½ cup peas

1 egg per person
2 slices ciabatta per person
Italian parsley to garnish


1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion and garlic on medium to low heat taking care not to burn the garlic.
2. Add the diced carrot and celery and tomato paste and increase the heat.
3. Add the mince and cook with the vegetables for approximately 5 minutes.
4. Add the curry powder, Worcestershire sauce and ½ cup of water and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Stir occasionally during cooking and add a little more water it looks too dry.
5. Finish by adding the peas and cook until they are heated through.

6. Serve over toasted ciabatta, top with a fried egg and a sprinkle of Italian parsley.