Asian-inspired Mince
12th November 2013
Delicious mince flavoured with Asian spices ~ cinnamon, star anise, ginger, chilli, soy ~ perfect served with rice noodles and loads of fresh coriander. Very easy to make but the cooking technique is more time-consuming than usual (borrowed from Giorgio Locatelli ~ see Ragu of Beef) so it's a great recipe to make over the weekend with a glass of red wine at hand! Pre-cooking also allows the flavours to develop beautifully. Although the whole cooking time is longer than you would expect, don't be put off because the result is well worth it!

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 – 2 medium leeks, pale green & white parts only, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
2cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled & finely diced
1 heaped teaspoon chilli ~ I use John West
2 – 3 large mushrooms, finely chopped
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole star anise
500g free range, lean beef mince at room temperature
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
125ml sherry
250ml red wine
400g tin of whole tomatoes
2 tablespoons Tamari (you can use Soy sauce)
1 teaspoon fish sauce
Chicken stock or water
A handful of fresh, finely chopped coriander

Method
1. Spread the mince out on a plate to ensure room temperature evenly.
2. Using a heavy-based casserole pot, heat the olive oil and add the onion, leeks, carrot and ginger.
3. Sweat for 8 – 10 minutes until golden and softened.
4. Add the chilli, cinnamon, star anise and the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes.
5. Lightly season the mince and add to the pot in a layer.

6. Leave to cook for 5 – 6 minutes without stirring.
7. Stir the mince and break up any lumps and leave to cook, stirring frequently, for 10 – 12 minutes until the mince is starting to hiss and sizzle.
8. Add the sherry and red wine and leave until the liquid reduces to virtually nothing ~ approximately 10 minutes.
9. Add the tinned tomatoes and the equivalent quantity of chicken stock or water. The stock will give a better flavour, though.
10. Leave to cook for about 1½ hours until the liquid has reduced and the meat is soft and full of flavour.
11. Prepare the rice noodles according to the packet instructions.

Serving
I like to toss the mince and noodles together, Italian-style, before serving with plenty of fresh, chopped coriander.

Notes
VERY EASY
Preparation: 15 – 20 minutes
Cooking: 2¼ hours
Wheat-free
Allergens: None
Serves 6 – 8

Sarah’s Tips
• Be patient and take your time cooking this mince ~ it’s worth it.


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