The most important point with minced (ground) meat is to use it fresh. The extra handling and exposure to air makes it more vulnerable than fresh joints, slices or cubes of meat (a joint of meat will keep fresher longer than sliced or cubed meat).
Try to buy it the day you intend to cook it, or at least cook it the day after purchase. Mince (minced or ground meat) is quite often sold at a special price in supermarkets. Caveat emptor! Check the packing date, not the use-by date, and do not buy mince that was prepared more than three days earlier, and in the case of chicken mince, my advice is to buy it freshly minced. Mincing your own meat is another approach, and a good way to control what goes into it. Fat-free this and fat-free that may be the order of the day, but when it comes to minced beef (and to a lesser degree lamb), mince needs a certain amount of fat to keep it moist and to provide succulence. Ninety-nine per cent fat-free mince produces burger patties, meatballs and meat sauce with a texture like sawdust.
Photography by Aaron Mclean http://www.aaronmclean.com
Optional extras for a barbecue feast