Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Slave to the Grind

Riso Mediterrano Piccante
Spicy Mediterranean Rice

I like ground meat- especially lamb, although I know a lot of people don't. There is a lot of controversy around ground meat, about it being of a lower quality and about not being able to truly judge its freshness... but when you pick it up from your butchers and see it going through the grinder before your very eyes... well- what's not to like?

I picked up some ground lamb on my way home, not knowing what I was going to make with it, but knowing that it would make for a great comfort-food dish of some sort this cold November evening! Due to my never-ending kitchen conflicts and the fact that I needed to clear everything out again for the craftsmen to fit new surfaces, back-splashes and cabinets in the morning, I decided to turn to my trusty rice cooker to make supper- which made it all very easy and convenient! Let me tell you how... 

The first thing into the pot was the ground lamb- all it took for this one, generous portion was one generous handful! And that would be the measurement of all of the other ingredients too- one handful of chopped bell pepper, chopped celery, chopped eggplant, Spring onion and later on, indeed the same of rice!

But I started with the meat, peppers, eggplant onion, which I let sit and sizzle and brown for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally and seasoning with salt, pepper, paprika, chopped garlic, rosemary, mint, parsley and thyme. Once the meat was beginning to brown and the celery and onion were becoming translucent, I added a tablespoon of Ajvar, a half-teaspoon of cayenne and my handful of rice, poured in enough boiling water to just cover everything. Then stirred it one last time, put on the lid and decided to take it easy for the next 20 minutes whilst the rice did its thing and cooked in all of those terrific flavors!

10 minutes later, I checked to make sure there was enough liquid left in there for the rice to finish steaming... which of course there wasn't! So I topped it up and then let it be for the last few minutes... the moral being- DON'T be too complacent and walk away! :-)

Still- this is basically a meal that makes itself- all of the flavors of the meat, vegetables, herbs and spices, combine to make a delicious and comforting Winter dish that you are bound to love! And the other good thing about it is... just one pot to wash up! And we all love that now, don't we? Enjoy!

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