Beef, Mince

Italian Sloppy Joes

Serves: 4

As a child of an American mother, Sloppy Joes were something I grew up with.

Essentially mince on toast, spiced with a packet of mix usually from McCormicks, an American food company.

I’ve never had it any other way and every trip back to the States has included a hunt for a dozen packs to bring back home to Australia.

Sloppy Joes are a real American comfort food and served on a toasted bread roll, you really can’t ask for anything more comfortable.

I’d considered doing my own Sloppy Joes though like messing with a Big Mac, I feared messing with what I knew and loved best.

Until tonight….

This recipe is Sloppy Joes right down the line.

The ‘Italian’ twist ironically steers it closer to the packet mix version I have always had. Add a toasted bread roll and you’re home.

I guess it is just slightly spiced mince on toast and I know that in itself isn’t amazing.

I hope however that my boys come to love Sloppy Joes as much as I do and that it becomes part of their childhood like it was mine.

Ingredients

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped, plus 1 extra halved
500gm beef mince
350ml passata
1 cup beef stock
2 tbsp coarsely chopped oregano
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 large bread rolls, halved
2 buffalo mozzarella balls, thinly sliced

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a low heat and saute the onion and garlic until golden. Add the beef, breaking up and cook until browned and any liquid evaporated.
  2. Add the passata, stock, oregano, sugar, chilli flakes and fennel seeds, season to taste and simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened: an hour or so. Stir in the vinegar and season again to taste.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat a grill to high and toast the rolls cut side up. Rub the toasted side with the garlic halves, top with the mozzarella cheese and grill until melted.
  4. Spoon the meat mixture over the toasted rolls and enjoy.
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Lamb, Mince

Thin-Crust Pide with Lamb Topping (Lahmacun)

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Mince, Turkish food and a thin pizza base. What could go wrong?

Serves: 4

Every so often, you come across a dish that hits it out of the park.

A dish that delivers far more than the brief.

A dish that makes you think wow.

No surprises, this is one of those dishes.

It is enormous. It is spectacular. And it gets better with practise, something you’ll love doing – over a few Saturday evening wines – knowing that each crust will get crisper, the lamb spicier, the bottle of red emptier.

The dough is easy so please don’t get put off by that: simply knead by hand and set aside and you’re home on that front. Double the lamb like we did and make it a meal.

The rather simple recipe is from the Turkish cookbook Anatolia.

The guys behind the book – and the dish – are from Efendy, an excellent Turkish restaurant in Balmain and one I highly recommend.

In the meantime, have a few wines next Saturday afternoon, cut-sort your plans for sushi or a salad and do it right.

This is 10/10 territory.

Lordy.

(We served the salad sprinkled on each cooked pide and would suggest you do too! Also, we have slightly adjusted the recipe, though only slightly.)

Ingredients

1 ⅓ cups flour
½ cup wholemeal flour to dust

Topping
2 tomatoes
1 red capsicum
75gm capsicum paste (salca)*
5 garlic cloves, chopped
½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves chopped
2 tsp chilli flakes
200gm lamb mince (we used 500gm though as a starter, do 200gm)
Salt and freshly cracked pepper

*You might be able to find this at a supermarket, definitely at a deli but if not use roasted peppers in a jar

Red onion and Sumac Salad
½ red onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp sumac
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 300c or as hot as she goes.
  2. Sift the flour into a large bowl and add the salt. Make a well in the center and slowly add ½ cup lukewarm water. Using your hands, mix to a firm dough adding a little extra water if necessary. Knead the dough for 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
  3. Sprinkle some flour on a board, turn out the dough and divide into 4-even sized balls. Cover with a damp cloth to rest for 30-minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, score a shallow cross in the base of the tomatoes and cover in a bowl with boiling water. Leave until the skin starts the peel and remove and refresh. Slice, deseed and chop.
  5. Deseed the capsicum and chop.
  6. Place the tomato and capsicum in a food processor with the capsicum paste, garlic, parsley, chili flakes, 1 tsp cracked black pepper, 1 tsp salt and pulse to a coarse paste. Add to the lamb mince in a bowl and stir well to combine.
  7. In a fine sieve or similar, push out all the liquid in the lamb mixture. You want to remove as much liquid as possible.
  8. Dust 4 sheets of baking paper with wholemeal flour. Place a ball of dough on the floured work surface and roll out until 25cm round and thin. Place on a floured baking paper. Thinly spread the lamb mixture over the base, pressing in with your hands.
  9. Place the baking paper/round on a baking tray and cook for 10 – 12 minutes until the edges are crisp.
  10. Meanwhile, make the salad by combining the ingredients.
  11. Serve the pide with the salad sprinkled on top.
  12. Repeat with the 3 other pide.
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Asian, Mince, Pork

Sticky Asian Meatballs

Serves: 4 – 6

This David Herbert number is as simple as it is wonderful.

And it is pretty simple.

We also sauteed some bok choy with chilli sauce, black bean, sesame oil and soy and all together, it was a hit.

Even the boys loved it.

It is a departure from our Sunday tradition of cooking all afternoon, though it’s a departure I am happy to live with after an especially busy weekend.

Ingredients

1kg pork mince
¾ cup fresh breadcrumbs
½ tsp ground ginger
2 eggs
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
Toasted sesame seeds, to garnish
Steamed jasmine rice to serve

For the sauce
⅔ cup hoisin sauce
¼ cup rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
½ tsp ground ginger

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 180c.
  2. Combine the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Shape into balls, place on a tray and roast for 20 minutes, turning once.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk sauce ingredients together.
  4. Serve the meatballs on rice, pour over the sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
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Asian, Mince, Poultry

Chinese Ground Chicken Bowl

Serves: 4

Name aside, this is a wonderful mid-week dish I found on a blog, Ominvore’s Cookbook.

I have adjusted it slightly and it really is a set-and-forget sort of dinner.

Get your chicken simmering, cook your rice, prepare your bok choy and heat up the pan to cook the eggs.

Which means more time for a wine on the couch discussing the progress of your new baby. Or puppy. Or whatever is progressing in your life.

We have done a few minced pork and chicken recipes lately and could there be anything better after a long day?

This dish is no exception.

Ingredients

4 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine (or Japanese sake which we used)
2 tsp sugar
¼ tsp Chinese five spice powder
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
500gm ground chicken breast (chicken mince)
50gm shiitake mushrooms
1 cup frozen baby peas
4 eggs
2 cups of steamed rice
Baby bok choy, sauteed quickly in a hot pan with a splash of vegetable oil, sesame oil, light soy sauce, black bean sauce and chilli sauce

Method

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the light soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, five spice powder and salt.
  2. Place the shiitake mushrooms in a bowl and pour over boiling water. Leave for 5 minutes, drain well and chop.
  3. Heat a wok over a medium heat and add the oil; when warm, add the ginger and garlic and stir, cooking for a minute until fragrant. Add the chicken mince, breaking up and stir until the chicken is slightly browned.
  4. Add the shiitake mushrooms, the light soy sauce mixture and 1 cup of hot water. Partially cover and cook for 30 minutes or until the sauce is mostly absorbed. Add the peas, stir for a minute and take off the heat, stirring until the peas are warmed through.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the rice and prepare the bok choy.
  6. When the chicken is close to done, add some oil to a pan, heat to medium and cook the eggs, crisping the edges though keeping the yolk runny.
  7. Cook the bok choy.
  8. Serve the chicken mince on the rice with the egg on top and the bok choy at the side.
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Asian, Mince, Pork

Ken Hom’s Spicy Sichuan Noodles

Serves: 2 – 4

Ken Hom is a pretty impressive guy and everything of his I have ever cooked has been just as impressive.

This is a man that doesn’t put his name to anything that isn’t but awesome.

We don’t hear a lot about Ken Hom in  Australia and he is fairly retired now I gather; though growing up with an American mother, I heard plenty about him and know his style well.

This particular recipe is as wonderful as it is quick to prepare.

It is that wonderful, spicy dish you get in a Taiwanese restaurant that you wish you had the time and knowledge to recreate. Part of this is achieved by keep the dice of your spring onions as small as you can; delicate ingredients, wonderful taste.

The only caveat is around the use of the chilli oil, which – if you have used chilli oil before – you will know can be quite a thumper of an ingredient. I haven’ adjusted the original recipe though we halved the chilli oil and were happy for doing so.

Blow your socks off however you will.

Oh, there is a second caveat.

We didn’t deep-fry the pork mince and frankly, I don’t think you should either. I don’t doubt Mr Hom’s recipe, though if you aren’t a kitchen used to splashing around liters of oil and deep frying meat, I wouldn’t start here. Pan fry your mince in a bit of oil like we did and enjoy.

And so I have adjusted the recipe to reflect this.

This is a cracker of a mid-week dinner and you should get onto cooking it as soon as you can.

Ingredients

250gm pork mince
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp finely chopped ginger
5 tbsp finely chopped spring onions
2 tbsp sesame paste or peanut butter
2 tbsp (light) soy sauce
2 tbsp chilli oil (we used 1)
1 tsp salt
250ml chicken stock
350gm fresh Chinese thin egg noodles or dry Chinese thin egg noodles
1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns, roasted and ground
1 red hot chili, seeds removed and finely chopped for garnish

Method

  1. Combine the pork, soy sauce and salt and mix well. Heat a wok until it is hot, add 1 tbsp of oil and fry the pork mixture until browned, working to break it up. Set aside.
  2. Add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil to the wok, reheat and add the garlic, ginger and spring onions and stir fry for 30-seconds. Add the sesame paste (or peanut butter), soy sauce, chilli oil, salt and chicken stock and simmer for 4 minutes,
  3. Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. Drain and divide into individual bowls. Ladle on the sauce, garnish with fried pork, Sichuan peppercorns and chopped chilli.
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Asian, Mince, Pork, Thai

Pad ka prao (minced pork, fried egg and rice)

Serves: 2

Read the ingredients and don’t over think it.

This is Monday done: street-style Thai.

Ingredients

1 tbsp sunflower oil
500gm pork mince
3 cloves garlic
3 birds eye chillies
1 small brown onion
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp kecap manis
1 tbsp oyster sauce
5 sprigs Thai basil leaves
2 eggs
Jasmine rice to serve

Method

  1. Cook the rice and set aside.
  2. De-seed the chillies and finely chop with the garlic and onion.
  3. Heat the oil in a medium-hot wok and fry the garlic, chillies and onion for 2 minutes. Add the pork and break up, working through until almost cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, fry the eggs until they have a slightly crispy base.
  5. Back to the pork, add the fish sauce, soy sauce, kecap manis and oyster sauce and stir through; reduce the sauces slightly and add the basil leaves. Stir and remove from the heat.
  6. Serve on rice with the fried egg on top.
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Healthy, Mince, Poultry

Kourtney Kardashian’s ‘Don-approved’ Guilt-free Chilli

 

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A Google search says this is her.

Kourtney Kardashian’s ‘Don-approved’ Guilt-free Chilli

 

Serves: 6

I don’t really know much about Kourtney Kardashian – in fact, I know pretty much nothing – though I suspect that her figure is important to her.

She is on a TV show I think.

This is Kourtney’s (famous) chilli that Nat found in the sort of magazine Kourtney Kardashian is featured in and the chilli isn’t bad at all.

In fact, it is a pretty good, spicy chilli.

I added sliced carrots, 2 red chillis and capsicum to it and dialed down her 3 tablespoons of chilli powder to 1 ½ tablespoons. Of course, if you want your heart to explode through your chest, go with her suggestion, though for the rest of us with only 10 minutes to eat lunch, stay with the dialed down version I have written up below.

Not sure of what the old Kourtney has given us food-wise otherwise, though thank you for the mince.

She is a good, simple, healthy mince.

(And double it of course as with all minces and freeze.)

Ingredients

2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
500gm ground turkey
1 ½ tbsp chilli powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp salt
1 x 800gm can diced tomatoes
2 x 400gm can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Avocado and coriander to serve

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil over a low heat in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and onion (and fresh chilli if using) and saute until golden.
  2. Add the mince, using a spoon to break it down. Cook until all of the liquid as evaporated.
  3. Stir in the chilli powder, cumin, oregano and salt. Add the tomato, kidney beans and other vegetables you might want to add.
  4. Bring to the boil and then cook for 45 mins to an hour or until thickened. Season.
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