US website calls mince on toast a ‘British classic’- then New Zealand claims it

Observer critic Jay Rayner results disowning of monstrosity, leaving New Zealanders to take credit for ultimate consolation food

New Zealand has claimed the abomination and monstrosity that is mince on toast, after an American food website sparked hubbub in the UK when it claimed the dish was a classic of British cuisine. posted a video featuring the dish on Twitter on Monday, saying: Mince meat on toast is a quintessential British convenience classic.

There was an immediate backlash on social media, with most Britons claiming they had never heard of it, let alone tried it.

The Observer eatery critic Jay Rayner tweeted 😛 TAGEND

Jay Rayner (@ jayrayner1)

For divinities sake @eater what are you on? Apart from mince on toast, something I have never eaten. https :// 1zfJTI18uG

July 10, 2017

Musician Neil Claxton tweeted 😛 TAGEND

Neil Claxton (@ MintRoyale)

Never ever ever ever ever, ever ever in a month of Sundays ever ever has anyone in Britain feed this mess.

July 10, 2017

TV cook Nigella Lawson added her voice to the debate 😛 TAGEND

In New Zealand, mince on toast is a common snack. The staple has even began to infiltrate brunch menu at upmarket coffeehouse, where it can command NZ $15 (8. 50) and above.

It is something that has been around for ever. We had it as children and I would say generations of people on farms have feed it, said Helen Jackson, a food writer and former food editor at the New Zealand Womens Weekly magazine.

It is an absolute rural classic. Rural people used to have meat for pretty much three meals per day and you could hot up leftover mince for lunch or Sunday night dinner with buttered toast.

And marriage stimulate mince and cheese toasted sandwiches as well.

Jackson says modern versions of mince and toast tend to jazz it up a little, by adding a poached egg on top, BBQ sauce, grated cheese or sour cream.

I perfectly love it and I promote my kids to have it now. It is the ultimate convenience food and it is delicious, and I think we should keep it running, she said.

Anthony Bentley, owned of the Akaroa cooking school in the South Island, said it had never passed to him that mince and toast was a unique national dish, but he had never eaten or watched it anywhere else in the world.

Mince on toast tends to be a leftover dish that youd feed for breakfast or lunch the next day if youd had a shepherds tart or lasagne base. Mince is always nicer the next day, it amalgamates the flavour, Bentley said.

That is the usual style Kiwis have it; it would not be that common as a dinner youd start from scratch. The recipes of old school are popping up on modern menu these days, which is great because it is such a classic, and is making quite a comeback in trendy Auckland cafes and the like.

Most recipes call for the mince to be somewhat thick in consistency, or else it can be difficult to eat and can soak through the bread. Thick, sturdy loaves such as sourdough work best.

I havent ensure it anywhere else in the world, Jackson said. I hadnt genuinely thought about people not eating it anywhere else because to me, why wouldnt you? To me it is a logical and delicious thing to do.

Helen Leach, emeritus professor at the University of Otago says the earliest recipes for mince on toast date to 1865 in England.

New Zealand recipes for the dish appeared in Christchurch in 1924 in Miss Mildred Trents The Up-to-date Cooks Book, published in London in 1914, and a 1952 cookbook published in New Zealand.

This recipe would have been considered suitable as an entree, or for lunch or supper, said Leach, who used to eat mince on toast for lunch or Sunday tea.

Miss Trent held a first-class certificate from the Edinburgh School of Cookery, so the recipe may well have been one she was familiar with there.

Buttered Buttered toast is optional. Photo: Tony Robins/ Getty Images

Mince on toast

Serves 1

1 cup country-style mince( see below)

Dash of Worcestershire sauce

2 thick slices bread

cup grated tasty cheddar cheese

Heat the mince in a small saucepan and add Worcestershire sauce to taste.

Toast the bread until golden and butter if you like.

Place the toast on a dinner plate, spoon over the mince and sprinkle with grated cheese.

Country-style mince

750g prime beef mince

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 onions, finely chopped

2 carrots, diced

1 stalk celery, finely sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped

3 beakers beef stock

2 tablespoons tomato paste

Heat a large frying pan and brown mince in batches; transfer to a large saucepan once it is well browned.

Heat olive oil in the frying pan and gently cook onions, carrots, celery and garlic for 10 -1 5 minutes until the onions are tender.

Transfer veggies to the saucepan and add stock and tomato paste. If employing a good quality stock you will need to add salt, whereas commercial stocks are often salty so if using them wait to savor before seasoning.

Bring to the boil and simmer for two hours, topping up with a little water if needed.

Rub butter into flour until you get a smooth ball you may need to add a little more flour if it is sticky. Gradually add small balls of mixture into the mince and allow to dissolve and thickened the mince. Once you get to the desired thickness of sauce then you wont need to add any more.

Simmer for a further 15 minutes to cook the flour and then remove from the hot. Once cool, refrigerate until cold.

Helen Jacksons mince on toast recipe is courtesy of

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