Thai Beef and Coconut Lime Rice

I keep stacks of 1 lb packages of grass-fed ground beef in the freezer, and every now and again I feel like doing something other than making tacos (although tacos never get old.)

This recipe is indulgent, rich, and completely satisfying when you really need to fill your belly, and with all of the labor intensive yard work my husband and I have been doing the past 3 days, hearty meals have been in order.

It never hurts to have a huge variety of spices on hand for making quick and simple meals that seem fancy.  In a world of spaghetti and grilled chicken, Thai spices make things seem fancy 🙂  I always keep dried Thai chiles, lemongrass, lime leaves, and a couple bottles of red and green pastes on hand for adding lots of flavor to otherwise simple ingredient dishes.

For the beef, you will need the following:

  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef (please, please go for the healthy grass eating cows!)
  • 1 small to medium sized sweet onion, diced
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes with juice
  • juice of one lime
  • 2-3 dried bird-eye chiles
  • 2 dried kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 or 2 sticks of dried lemongrass
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • sea salt to taste

For the rice…

  • 1 cup white Basmati rice
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • juice of one lime
  • sea salt to taste
thai spices 2
Kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, bird’s eye chiles. Flavor is a beautiful thing!

The Thai Kitchen brand carries all of the dried spices, and makes the fish sauce, too.  I get the coconut aminos and sugar from Whole Foods or Thrive Market, so you shouldn’t have to travel (or at all if you order online!) to find these ingredients.  I think many people shy away from these kinds of recipes thinking they need to go to specialty Asian stores to find spices like these, but fear not! They are easily acquired!

To make this deliciousness, all you need is a pan and a pot.  In a large heated skillet, add the onion to a touch of oil and sizzle for a minute or two, then add the ground beef.  Cook mostly through, while combining the liquids and sugar into a separate liquid measuring cup. Grind the bird’s eye chiles in a mortar and pestle, or a small bowl with a spoon, and add to the milk/tomato mixture. Pour liquids into the beef, add the lemongrass and lime leaves, and let simmer while you prepare the rice.

To make the rice, rinse it well and add to a pot with the coconut milk, lime juice and salt.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes on low heat.

While this is happening, the beef liquid should have thickened.  If not, give it a few minutes more to reduce it to a saucy consistency.  It should look like chili, not soup. In a world with more time, this is a dish that would taste even better with longer cooking time (and additional liquid!) to really meld the flavors, but consider making extra for next day leftovers, which are even better.

Fluff the rice, pour into a pretty bowl, top with the beef and enjoy!  I know this doesn’t have my much required vegetables I usually insist upon, so feel free to serve it with a simple salad 🙂

Hope you like it!

Thai Beef

 

 

 

 

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