This recipe comes from Jamie Oliver’s Great Britain cookbook, which I’ve mentioned before as one of my favourite cookbooks. This recipe is definitely my most-made recipe from this book, and has become a firm family favourite. This is fantastic on a cold winter’s night, as it is wonderfully warm both heat-wise and spice-wise.
Serves 6 (with leftovers).
250-500g quality beef mince
1-2 red onions, depending on size, peeled and finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
1 red capsicum (pepper), deseeded and finely chopped
3cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 – 2 red chilies, deseeded and chopped
A small bunch of fresh coriander, or a good pinch of ground coriander
1 heaped tablespoon Patak’s Madras curry paste
1 tablespoon tomato puree
Sea salt and ground pepper
1 heaped tablespoon HP sauce
1 1/2 litres organic beef stock
½ of a butternut squash, deseeded and chopped into 1cm pieces
A couple of sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
A couple of pinches of garam masala
1 cup basmati rice
Plain yogurt, to serve
Put a large pan on high heat and add a splash of olive oil and the beef mince. Cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking up the beef, until it starts to turn golden and caramelize. Stir in the onion, carrot, garlic, red pepper, ginger and most of the chilies, and add a splash more oil, if needed (I find it best to chop up the vegetables before putting the mince in the pan, because there is a bit more than 7 minutes worth of cutting up!). Cut the top leafy section off the coriander and put aside in a cup of cold water for later. Finely chop the stalks and add to the pan, or add a generous pinch of ground coriander. Cook and stir for about 10 minutes on a medium heat or until the veggies have softened.
Stir in the curry paste, tomato puree, a good pinch of salt and pepper and the HP sauce. After a few more minutes, when it smells fantastic, pour in the stock. Leave to blip away with the lid on over medium heat for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, cut the butternut squash into 1cm chunks, getting rid of any seeds and gnarly bits (there’s no need to peel it). Put a smaller pan on a high heat. Add a lug of olive oil and the squash. Stir in the thyme leaves and the garam masala. Pop a lid on the pan and cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat, stirring every few minutes, until softened and golden. Add a cup of rice to the pan with 2 cups of water (use the same cup) and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Replace the lid and cook for about 8 minutes on medium heat, then turn the heat off and leave to steam for 8 minutes with the lid on.
Fluff up the rice and tip it into the soup. Have a taste, and season if required. Gently mix together, and then divide among your soup bowls with a good dollop of plain yogurt. Scatter over the coriander leaves and add a sprinkling of fresh chili, if you like.