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!

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

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.

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

Preparation: 15 – 20 minutes
Cooking: 2¼ hours
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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