Spicy Crispy-Fried Beef with Noodles & Greens (serves 4-6)

 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.

Spicy Crispy-Fried Beef with Noodles

Spicy Crispy-Fried Beef with Noodles

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.

the inspiration for last night's dinner

the inspiration for last night’s dinner

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)

Method:

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)

grill peppers until charred

grill peppers until charred

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.

peel and de-seed the peppers

Peel and de-seed the peppers

3 – Dice the pepper and set aside in a little bowl until needed.

dice peppers

Dice peppers

4 – Prep rest of ingredients before you begin cooking:

Tarragon leaves (to be chopped)

Tarragon leaves (to be chopped)

dice mushrooms

Dice mushrooms

chop your greens

Chop your greens

place your peas in a bowl to thaw a little

Place your peas in a bowl to thaw a little

I always chop my bouillon cube (makes it easy to mix into dishes)

I always chop my bouillon cube (makes it easy to mix into dishes)

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.

cook mushrooms

Cook mushrooms

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)

cook until browned

Cook until browned

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.

Add bouillon cube, then liquid adn greens

Add bouillon cube, then liquid and greens

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)

cover adn cook for about 10 minutes

Cover and cook for about 10 minutes

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.

cook beef

Cook beef (use potato masher to break up the meat)

11 – Stir in the mirin mixture and remove to a bowl and cover to keep warm.

cook until browned adn criapy, add mirin mixture

Cook until browned and crispy, add mirin mixture

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.

cook spaghetti..

Cook spaghetti..

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.

serve with lime wedges

serve with lime wedges

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