Generally, people in the United States refer to pork mince as ground pork, but in other regions people usually use the term minced pork. Although it is most common to use uncooked pork, cooks may mince cooked pork, which gives it a very different taste and texture. Minced meat, such as pork, beef, or poultry, is economical and versatile, which is why many cooks use it. Commercial food companies use almost any part of the hog for minced pork, though many cooks normally prefer the shoulder sections with a small amount of belly fat to improve the texture and taste.
Cooks make minced meat with mincing knives or appliances called mincers or grinders. Mincing knives usually have one or two curved blades positioned between two handles. Some people prefer to use a chef's knife or meat cleaver. The cook works the pork until it is the texture desired. Whether a cook uses coarser minces or finer minces depends on the recipe, such as a fine mince for a pate.
The appliances, called meat mincers or meat grinders, may be manual or electric. Generally, these mincers work in the same fashion. An auger forces chunks of the meat through a set of cutting blades. The grind changes from coarse to fine, depending on which blades are in place. Sometimes cooks use food processors to make pork mince, but usually the processor produces a very fine texture that is more suitable for pates than for burgers or fried minced meat.
Although almost any part of the pig may be minced, many butchers use only select cuts in order to please their customers. Some cooks buy a select cut, such as a roast, and ask the butcher to custom mince it. Many food experts suggest that a mixture of lean and marbled pieces results in a premier quality pork mince. Some people prefer to mix the pork with other meats, such as beef, lamb, or poultry, either while mincing or after.
Various recipes call for pork mince, and in American recipes it is usually listed as ground pork. Many dishes from southeastern Asia feature minced pork, such as Thai pork balls. Pork mince is very versatile, and cooks may form it into balls, burgers, and loaves or fry it loosely. Commonly, cooks use loose meat for casseroles, sauces, and chili. Other uses include sausage, pates, and stuffing for pasta or larger cuts of meat.