Monday, 23 September 2013

Day One: Curried Mince with Rice

Day One of the Good Housekeeping's Cooking Compendium Challenge and the kitchen was full of questions. How many grams in an ounce? How many ounces in a pound? (Woe us, children of the 80s and our diet of metric.) Do we have any lemons? (Why do you need lemons? To make lemon butterflies to serve it with... We don't have lemons...)

What shall I cook the mince in? (We decided against olive oil). Why do we only have two onions in the entire kitchen? How much will this actually make? Is 1tbsp of curry powder really enough? Mild, medium or hot curry powder?

This is a really basic. The sauce is made by frying off onions and then curry powder with flour and stirring in beef stock and sultanas. This then simmered until the onions and sultanas are soft and the sauce is thick. The mince is then stirred through. The sauce was surprisingly rich, maybe not as spicy as our normal curries but good all the same. For a man who dislikes "out of context fruit" (Duck a L'Orange is his nemesis), Jim wolfed down a plate of the spicy sultana studded mince. Success.

It was actually nice. I'm fully aware that I picked something quite basic to ease us into it. The sauce was thick and coated the mince well. It wasn't as spicy as we would normally go. I'm putting this down to palates though.

Easy peasy, no lemon butterflies squeezy. Although a reoccurring theme throughout The Compendium is that it doesn't tell you how many people it will serve. There was a lot. Easily could have fed three or four. This worries me for the rest of the week, I haven't factored in leftovers.

Make again?
Maybe. It was exceptionally cheap. No cans of fancy coconut milk, thai basil pastes or bags of jasmine rice here. Would cut down on quantities a bit or keep the same and have leftovers. Would make a gorgeous jacket potato filling.

Learn anything new?
How many grams in a ounce and how to turn my scales into weighing in ounces.

The issue of cooked minced meat. I am assuming that this would have been meat leftover from a joint of meat and then minced rather than raw mince, cooked. As I don't have the facility to mince meat myself, we bought fresh minced meat and fried it off. I used a bit more stock than the recipe asked for because it was really getting thick. There were no lemon butterflies. I felt like I have let the side down.

Score (out of 10) -
A steady 7. I like having vegetables with dinner. Meat on carbs. Still a winner.

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