Mince in Potato Skins

These potato skins are a great way to use up leftover mince. You can either use leftover baked potatoes and scale quantities according to the number of potatoes you have, or you can pop extra potatoes in the oven when you’re baking whole potatoes for a different meal and save them for this. This makes 16 potato skins, which should feed 4 to 5 people as a main meal with a vegetable side. Or serve them alongside other snacks as easy warm finger food. The potatoes can either be baked and left to cool a little just before preparing this recipe or can be baked in advance and stored for a day or two in the fridge before using. Adjust the quantities below according to your preferences!

What you need:

8 small to medium potatoes, baked whole in their skins*

400 gram tin of diced tomatoes

1/3 cup of tomato paste (some brands are labelled gluten free if you need to be extra careful)

1 cup of cooked, seasoned mince (leftovers are fine!)

1 cup of grated cheese, such as mozzarella, Cheddar, Colby, Edam or a mixture of these

Small bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley and/or oregano, fined diced (optional)

What to do:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C and line a large baking tray with baking paper.

2. In a clean bowl, mix together the tomatoes and the tomato paste in a clean bowl. You won’t need all of this mixture so once you have finished this recipe you could freeze or refrigerate what is left for future meals – for example you could use it as the tomato base for pizza.

3. Slice each potato in half lengthways and scoop out most of the cooked flesh, being careful not to put any holes into the potato skin. The flesh is not needed for this recipe so save for later (it makes yummy mash if mixed with butter and salt!).

4. Place the empty potato skins on the lined baking tray with skin side down and the empty hollow left when the flesh was scooped out facing upwards.

5. Place a dessertspoonful of the tomato mixture into each of the potato skins.

6. Place a generous dollop of cooked mince on top of the tomato mixture in each of the potato skins and spread to make a thick layer of meat.

7. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the meat layer in each of the potato skins.

8. Place the pan of filled potato skins in the pre-heated oven to bake until the cheese has melted and started browning. If the potatoes were hot when you started, this should take about 15 minutes. If the potatoes were cold when you started, this should take 20 to 30 minutes but will vary depending on how cold the potatoes were at the start, so check it every so often until done.

9. Once done, remove the potato skins from the oven, sprinkle the diced herbs over the top (if using) and serve warm. Enjoy!

*I bake my potatoes in the following way: Wash and dry each potato and then prick each potato all over with a fork (I usually prick it about 4 times on one side and then flip it and do the same on the other side). Place all the potatoes on a baking tray and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200°C until the potatoes are soft the whole way through – test by stabbing with a skewer and fork and feeling the texture in the middle. This take about one to two hours but will depend on the size of the potatoes and how far apart the potatoes are on the baking tray. Remove from oven once cooked. You can speed up the baking time by microwaving each potato on high for a few minutes after pricking them with a fork and then placing them in the pre-heated oven.

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