This week, Lucy has been on a freezer rummage and found, amongst other things, quite a bit of mince.
I really should clear my freezer out more often. However, it’s a thankless task and I always imagine I am going to find half a fillet of beef or some choice pieces of fish to create a special supper. The reality is quite different. I rather overdid it on a trip to Costco last week, so in order to make way for 3 kilos of boned chicken thighs and a kilo and a half of salmon I had to bite the bullet and clear out the freezer.
In a tedious turn of events I found 5 bags of brown bananas, 2 quarter bags of peas and 4 mystery bags of brown business which could have been anything from rhubarb crumble to bone broth. What I did find, though, was 2 packets of beef mince, the eternal standby meat of choice. Being bored rigid of chilli and bolognese I decided to scare the family with something new. This Quick Thai Beef with Basil is the resulting dish.
ThisThai Beef with Basil recipe is a right result. What’s not to like about a bowlful of spicy, salty, sweet mince? It’s cheap and cheerful to make but quite charming to look at, especially when it’s garnished with a crisp fried egg and extra basil. It’s also a doddle to make. Fashion a sauce in a jug then the rest of the magic happens in a wok or large frying pan. You are just a few store cupboard type ingredients away from something really rather tasty. Beef, fresh chilli and a large handful of Thai basil to seal the deal. If you can’t get the Thai type, the regular variety basil will do, although the former does have a rather lovely aniseed kick to it. Huge thanks to the jauntily entitled Scrummy Lane for the inspiration for this dish.
This would make a rather stylish quick supper for friends or family, disguising what is really a rather dull packet of mince. If your freezer is housing pork or turkey mince too, worry not, this would work just as successfully in this dish. So get your head torch on and some gloves at the ready and get snaffling at the back of your freezer to see what you can unearth.
This recipe will feature on Lucy Loves this week.
Quick Thai Beef with Basil Recipe
Serves 4, appetite dependent
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons kecap manis, or use an extra 2 tablespoons of soy and 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 8 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 200g fine green beans, chopped into thirds
- 4 cloves garlic, or 2 heaped teaspoons lazy garlic
- 2 red chilli, finely chopped, or use Thai chilli to your taste as they are quite lively
- 750g beef mince, or use pork or turkey mince if you would prefer
- 1 level tablespoon brown sugar, optional
- Extra soy, to taste
- A small bunch Thai basil or normal basil if that’s what you have, roughly chopped
- 4 eggs for frying, allow one or two per serving, teenagers love two
- Rice, noodles, extra basil, Sriracha and lime wedges to serve
In a large jug or bowl make the sauce. Measure in the fish sauce, soy sauce, kecap manis, oyster sauce and water. Put to one side while you crack on with the beef.
Take a large wok or frying pan and heat a tablespoon of oil over a high heat. Cut your fine beans into thirds then add to hot oil and stir fry for a minute or so. Add the chopped chilli and garlic and cook for a further minute, being careful not to burn them.
Add the beef and stir fry until it’s brown and cooked through, around 5 to 6 minutes. Pour in the sauce ingredients and stir well. Allow to simmer for a couple of minutes before adding the thai/regular basil and stirring well. Taste, add the optional tablespoon of sugar if you like your Thai dishes sweeter or more soy if needed.
Serve with rice or noodles and finish with a crisp fried egg and extra basil. Add additional chilli sauce if needed.