MasterChef winners Karena and Kasey Bird write a fortnightly food column in Living.

Kasey and Karena: Just mincing about (+recipes)

Lamb kofta.
Lamb kofta.

Sometimes it's the simplest of things that can warm you up and transport you back to your childhood. Funnily for us, mince does just that.

For as long as we can remember this humble "cut" of meat has been a staple in our family. Whether it's in our mum's mince pie or good old spaghetti bolognaise, it has the power to sooth the soul and satiate a hunger for more than food.

This week we decided to jazz up pork and lamb mince with a few different herbs and spices. Have a go at our lamb kofta and our tasty Asian pork burgers.

The versatility of mince lets you experiment with different flavours but we think no matter what, it will always give you that warm fuzzy feeling when you're needing it.

Lamb skewers with feta and basil sauce

Serves 4

For the skewers
800g lamb mince
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp coriander powder
Salt and pepper
¼ cup coriander chopped
¼ cup mint chopped
1 egg, beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced

For the sauce
½ cup feta
¼ cup plain yoghurt
½ cup basil
Zest 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
3 Tbsp oil
Chopped parsley

In a large bowl combine all of the skewer ingredients and mix well. Roll into sausage-shaped ovals and skewer.

Heat a large griddle pan or normal frypan over medium heat. Add the oil and cook the skewers in batches making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Cook the skewers for about 4 minutes in each side or until cooked through.

For the sauce, place all the ingredients in a food processor or small electric mixer and blend together until well combined.

Serve the skewers with a side of the sauce and pita pockets of flat breads, garnish with parsley.

Juicy Asian pork burgers with slaw

Juicy Asian pork burgers.
Juicy Asian pork burgers.

Serves 4

For the patties
800g free-range pork mince
2 spring onions, chopped finely
3 Tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
½ cup coriander chopped
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp oil

For the coleslaw
¼ red cabbage, sliced finely
¼ white cabbage, sliced finely
¼ cup coriander, chopped
2 spring onions, chopped
1 Tbsp sweet chilli sauce
¼ cup mayo
1 Tbsp sesame oil
4 buns, toasted

In a large bowl, add all the ingredients for the patties and combine well. Roll into four equal-sized patties.

Heat a large fry pan over medium heat. Add the oil and place the meat patties in the fry pan. Cook on each side for 5 minutes or until the patty is cooked through. Feel free to prise a knife into the middle to see if it has cooked.

In a large bowl combine all of the coleslaw ingredients together.

Place a patty on one bun and top with the coleslaw and the other half of the bun. Enjoy.

- Spy.co.nz

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