I remember very clearly as a child one of my favourite cooking tasks was mincing. My Grandmother let me turn the handle of the old mincer bolted to the side of the kitchen table. She would hand me pieces of meat carved from the remainder of a roast and I would wind it through the mincer, accompanied intermittently by another quarter of an onion or a piece of carrot. I was fascinated by the way the wormscrew carried the food into the barrel of the mincer, compressing it and forcing it past the rotating cutters. A pungently fragrant orange-flecked mix dropped from the mincer into the old crock standing by beside it. We used to grab a pinch of it and eat it.
I do believe that Shepherd’s Pie was the first recipe I learned.