This was last night’s dinner and it was pretty great. I had some ground beef and thought I would be lazy and make burgers, but as I was rooting around in the fridge for some burger buns I happened upon a lime and 2 Anaheim peppers. I really wanted to use them, so my plan changed.
As I sifted my brain for something creative I remembered seeing a picture of a dish Jamie Oliver had made by cooking the beef to a crumbly crisp and adding honey. I decided to completely rip that idea off but made more of an Asian spicy concoction to mix into the beef. I served it atop pasta and the remnants of whatever greens I could find.
And yes, it really tasted as good as it looks!
You will need:
1 lb ground beef
3 tbs mirin
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper flake (or up to 1 tsp if you like more heat)
2 Anaheim peppers (roasted, peeled & diced – method below)
5 large mushrooms, diced
1 cup peas (I used frozen baby peas)
1 large head Romaine lettuce OR Escarole OR spinach (enough for 6 to eight cups when chopped)
2 tbs chopped fresh tarragon leaves (if you don’t have tarragon, don’t worry)
1 good quality bouillon cube (I use Rapunzel brand)
2 1/2 cup to 3 cups water
1 lime, quartered
1 lb spaghetti pasta (I use Barilla brand)
1 – Roast peppers as follows: Put your oven rack a few inches from the grill (I’m guessing the second rack) and put the peppers on a baking tray and place under the hot grill. Check every few minutes and turn peppers as they blacken (look at picture below to gauge)
2 – Remove peppers and place in a brown paper bag (I use the bags I get when I buy a bottle of wine) and close. Leave for about 15 to 20 minutes undisturbed. Remove from bag and peel off the skin, remove the stem and seeds. Do not rinse with water or you will lose flavor and texture.
3 – Dice the pepper and set aside in a little bowl until needed.
4 – Prep rest of ingredients before you begin cooking:
5 – Chop garlic and combine with cayenne flakes, and mirin. Set aside.
6 – Put big saute pan (big enough to hold the finished dish) and add 2 tbs olive oil. when it has warmed, add the mushrooms for about 8 minutes.
7 – Add the chopped tarragon and continue to cook until the mushroom juices begin to dry up and mushrooms are nice and brown (another 8 or so minutes)
8 – Add the bouillon and mix until it dissolves. Add the water and turn heat up to high. Add the greens, peas and 1/2 of the Anaheim peppers, (reserving the rest for a garnish). Stir everything together and cook until the broth boils. Turn heat down and cover.
9 – Cook at a gentle simmer for between 5 to 10 minutes (test by tasting the greens. If they are soft with a little crunch at the stem and rib, it is cooked)
10 – While greens are simmering, put the water on for the pasta and cook the meat as follows: Put saute pan on med/high and add the meat (no oil). Cook, stirring very frequently until meat releases the fat. Continue to cook until meat is beginning to get crispy.
11 – Stir in the mirin mixture and remove to a bowl and cover to keep warm.
12 – When pasta is cooked, drain and immediately toss into the pan of cooked greens. Turn off heat (if you haven’t done so already) and mix everything together.
To serve, divide noodles and broth between 4 to 6 bowls (depending) and top with the crispy beef. Garnish with a lime and reserved diced peppers.