Sunday, 9 September 2012

garbanzos con carne molina / chickpeas and mince - my style

This recipe is not a classy dish but it is a hearty dinner with an excellent balance of spicy and savoury and a comforting texture. I have a feeling that this dish will be a feature of my autumn and winter dining for some time to come. It is part inspired by the garbanzos con carne molida from this intriguing Colombian recipe blog and also the Spanish dish of arroz con garbanzos.

I used Laverstoke Park, lean buffalo mince in this dish as I enjoy the flavour and the fact that it is only 3% fat but you could use any minced beef, veal or pork. Feel free to experiment.

The amounts below are enough for 2-4 people depending on how greedy you are.

300g lean buffalo mince
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic grated/minced/crushed
1 tsp chilli flakes, add more if you like it spicy
1 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp hot smoked paprika
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tomato puree
400g can chickpeas, drained
generous handful of chopped, fresh coriander
salt and pepper
wedge of lime to squeeze over at the end
100g basmati or other long grain rice cooked with 1 good quality beef stock cube (e.g. Kallo) - see below for my method.

  1. Heat a wide frying or saute pan over a medium heat then add the oil and cook the onion until translucent, you don't want it to colour too much.
  2. Add the chili flakes and cumin and stir together, cook for a further minute or two.
  3. Now add the mince and stir until it has all browned evenly. 
  4. Next add the crushed garlic and stir, followed by the tomato puree. TIP: Before you stir the tomato puree through the whole mixture cook it for about a minute to one side of the pan until you start to see the colour change. This will help to intensify the flavour. 
  5. At this stage I had a left over grilled aubergine so chopped it up and added it in for an additional texture and flavour but this recipe will work equally well without or you could experiment by adding other roasted veg such as red peppers or courgettes.
  6. Next add the smoked paprika followed by the drained chickpeas. Lower the heat then cook the mixture for a further 5-10 minutes.
  7. Taste for seasoning then adjust to your preferences.
  8. Mix the rice into the meat and chickpea mixture and continue to cook over a low heat until it is all heated through.
  9. Sprinkle over the fresh coriander then serve with lime wedges on the side.

How to cook perfect rice...
  1. Put the rice in a saucepan, cover with boiling water/stock so that the water is about 1.5cm above the rice.
  2. Cover, then boil on a medium heat for 5mins then turn the heat off and leave for approx 10 mins until all the water is absorbed. Do not lift the lid at this stage. Trust that this will all work out. 
  3. While the rice is cooking you can get on with the rest of the meal.
  4. When the rice is ready to use you should have perfectly separate, fluffy grains of rice.

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