Mince beef (curse if they have it)

When I was at work the other day (before I went off on my hols), my girlfriend sent me an email listing some items she wanted me to pick up from the supermarket. These included:

  • Mince beef (curse if they have it)
  • Spaghetti
  • Milk
  • Juice


The first of these left me rather baffled. "Curse if they have it"? I had visions of going into the supermarket, picking up the mince and shouting, "Hooray! They've got f**ing mince!" Of course, I didn't do anything so vulgar, and I did manage to work out what my girlfriend had meant.

Any guesses?

On a similar note - 'minced beef', 'mince beef' or 'beef mince'? Google prefers the first of these, but how about you? Perhaps you call it something else entirely...

14 comments:

Jonathan Shaw said...

Coarse?

lynneguist said...

I don't say any of the above...the American English version is 'ground beef'.

The Ridger, FCD said...

Ditto... But I'd say "minced beef" if I did.

Kel said...

I call it either "ground beef" or "hamburger meat." Depends on if I'm cooking with it or squishing it into patties to grill :)

Gareth said...

Minced beef, definitely. Though generally I just call it mince.

TootsNYC said...

"Chopped meat," is what my DH calls it.
I have heard "chopped beef."

I can't get him to use "beef" instead of "meat" no matter how hard I try. "Meat," to him, is from a cow. Period.

Sarah said...

I'm sure 'minced beef' is more grammatically corrected, but when you say 'minced beef' it doesn't really roll off the tongue does it? So you might as well do away with the d to make it easier to say.

JD said...

Jonathan Shaw's right: coarse, of course.

I'm with Gareth in that I'd generally call it just 'mince', unless I needed to specify beef as opposed to lamb mince (for example).

Editrix said...

Ah! Ground beef! Now I get it. I, an American, was picturing gourmet cat food.

P.S.: I'm with Jonathan Shaw on this one. I would have guessed "coarse," too, but only after I was on my way home, with the groceries, wondering why my girlfriend would be so outraged by the presence of mince beef. (Is she a lapsed vegetarian? Is she a member of some anti-mince-beef organization?)

Editrix said...

Just saw that JD already answered the riddle for us: "coarse." Now I feel like an idiot for guessing "coarse" after the fact. It makes me sound like one of those people who brags about her SAT scores.

TootsNYC said...

I've never noticed American supermarkets selling ground beef in coarse or fine or medium. Do they?

(oh, and my MIL *says* "chop meat"--she doesn't usually write it, and I have listened for the D and not heard it)

rpmason said...

Years ago, I used coarse ground beef for chili and such. Supermarkets don't sell it any more, according to one grocer, because bits of bone sometimes get through the coarse grinder setting. That said, I never found any bone in my chili. I deal with the loss by browning the meat in small globs instead of as crumbles.

rpmason said...

My grandmother used to make a mince-meat pie at Christmas. It contained dark-colored chopped fruits and berries, not meat. Only the old people ate it. Blech.

JD said...

Yes, mince pies (containing so-called mincemeat) are very popular here in the UK at Christmas. Eaten by all sorts of people, young and old.

Mincemeat doesn't actually contain any meat (unlike mince) so I suppose the mince/mincemeat distinction could be one of the more confusing ones for non-Britons. Look up 'mince pies' or 'mincemeat' in Wikipedia for more info.

Funny how we say 'mince pies' not 'minced pies'. Well, a minced pie would look kind of disgusting...