Thursday, May 31, 2012

mince curry

During a recent discussion with several online friends about various uses for ground beef, a small revelation was handed down to me: mince curry. ("Mince" is a general term for ground meat - you can have lamb mince, pork mince, etc.) I had never even considered making curry with ground beef until one of said online friends mentioned that her South African step-dad made a really nice mince curry, and then described the general recipe. I drooled a bit reading it, and vowed that I would some day try making it, if my apartment ever came down to a reasonable temperature again.

Today happened to turn out fairly nice and cool (compared to the last few days, anyway), so I decided I'd give the mince curry idea a try.

Mince curry!
Now, I know it doesn't look like much in the picture. Curries don't tend to be particularly pretty affairs, in my opinion. But let me tell you...this stuff? Heaven in a bowl. Maybe it was because I was really hungry. Maybe it was just a good day for curry, I don't know...but honestly, this tasted SO GOOD. I'm a mince curry convert for sure. 

Traditionally, this dish should have peas and potatoes in it, but since I'm not a huge pea fan and I don't eat many potatoes, I nixed them both in favor of cauliflower...but you could easily add them (and whatever other veg you want) back in. Also, if you have a while to cook and you want a richer sauce, you can add the ground beef raw and let it cook right in the sauce - it would probably take 40 minutes or so. I didn't want to wait that long, and since 80/20 was the leanest ground beef I could find at the time and I didn't really want my sauce inundated with fat run-off, I chose to brown my beef beforehand and then chuck it in later.

Mince (Ground Beef) Curry

1 lb ground beef (I used 80% lean), browned
1 head cauliflower, washed, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 can coconut milk
1 sm. can tomato paste
1 cup water
1 large white onion, chopped
2 tbsp garam masala
3 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
2.5" worth of fresh ginger, minced or grated
1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil

Melt butter or coconut oil in large pan. Add chopped onion and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until onion is soft and somewhat golden. Add garlic, ginger, garam masala and tomato paste. Stir and cook until fragrant - 1-2 minutes. Add coconut milk and water, stir to incorporate. Add cauliflower and browned ground beef, stir well. Cover and allow to cook on medium-low until cauliflower is tender, about 10 - 12  minutes. Serve.