Friday, 18 November 2016

Dave's Spiced Mince and Blackeyed Peas recipe

Dave first ate this meal at a one-day festival, probably in East Anglia somewhere, decades ago and this is his recreation of the recipe. It's a good winter warmer and we love how the spices soak into their hot, buttered toast 'plate'. I wonder if the idea dates back to Medieval 'trenchers' (from the French trancher, to slice) which performed a similar function. Don't be put off by the longish list of ingredients. Most are store cupboard staples.

This meal can be easily vegetarianised by substituting veggie mince and stock cubes for their meat alternatives. The mince benefits from overnight maturing of the flavours if possible, but is still good if cooked straight through. There is about an hour of preparation and cooking time altogether.

Rapeseed oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
200g beef mince
Worcestershire sauce
1-2 tbsp tomato puree
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground corander seed
2 tsp ground ginger
Salt and pepper
Beef stock cube
1/4 pint water
2 celery sticks, cut into 1cm slices
Chicken stock cube
200g (1/2 tin) blackeyed peas
Toast slices

Heat the oil and fry the onion until it has softened. Towards the end of the onion cooking, add the garlic so it cooks for 3-4 minutes.

Add the beef mince and stir it round until all the meat has browned. While the mince is browning add several splashes of Worcestershire sauce and the tomato puree. Also stir in the four spices and the salt and pepper.

When the mince is browned and everything is thoroughly stirred in, crumble in a beff stock cube and the water. Stir to combine and leave to simmer gently for about 10 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the mince is almost dry again. Set aside to mature, refrigerating once cool, overnight if possible.

In a new pan, simmer the celery with the chicken stock cube and enough water to cover the pieces until it is all tender. Strain and add the celery to the mince.

Strain the blackeyed peas and add them to the mince.

Heat the mince, celery and peas through until piping hot. Check the seasoning and add more salt or pepper if needed.

Serve on on slices of hot, generously buttered toast.

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