(Feel free to write a better title.)
Today i ended up getting to shul too late for mincha, and having to daven outside (still within the proper time). Now, i know shemoneh esrei by heart, and even yaaleh v'yavo, but not al hanisim. Luckily, i had a siddur in my pocket (no, not a smartphone), and was able to read from it. But that made me wonder: What if i didn't have the text?
If i would not have been able to say al hanisim due to not knowing it by heart, would it be better to say shemoneh esrei in the proper time without al hanisim, or miss mincha, and daven tashlumin at maariv, with the proper additions?
What about yaaleh v'yavo? The difference is that if yaaleh v'yavo is forgotten, the shemoneh esrei must be repeated, while that is not the case with al hanisim.
To avoid working around the question: There's no mincha minyan available, no siddur or any text available, and no time to go look it up.