Ground beef with tomatoes Persian style

This is a wonderful dish generally prepared with ground lamb. The flavours are very subtle.

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For 500 gr of lean ground beef:
1- In a deep pan with a few drops of olive oil, cook half a red onion cut in small pieces. When they start getting translucent, add three cloves of garlic sliced, a little bit of fresh ginger root sliced, half a tablespoon of brown sugar, and two teaspoons of the Persian spice mix Advyeh. Cook for about 10 minutes stirring frequently.
2- Add four tomatoes cut in cubes and mix. Then add the ground beef and a handful of fresh cilantro chopped. Mix well. Add one tablespoon of Saffron liquid and mix again.
3- Cover and let it cook for about 25 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Serve it with white rice and some green vegetables or yoghurt with cucumber. I served it with white Basmati rice cooked with raisins, and a topping of avocado. 

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Tagliatelle bicolore con pomodori e pancetta

A colourful pasta with the nice added flavour of Pancetta.

Pancetta is an Italian type of bacon with black pepper. I could not find it here in San Miguel so I used organic bacon, which proved to be as delicious.

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For two servings of Tagliatelle
1- Cook the Pancetta (or bacon) in a heavy pan until nice and crispy.
2- Take away the strips and leave any piece that may be just fat. Add four tomatoes cut in cubes and a teaspoon of black pepper crushed. Let it cook stirring from time to time.
3- Make sure you remove the excess fat on the fried strips of pancetta with a paper towel. Cut them in small pieces. Set aside.
4- Cook the pasta.
5- In a bowl, mix freshly grated Parmigiano with dried herbs of choice. I used oregano and mint. Set aside.

To serve: Mix the pasta with the tomato sauce and serve in a deep plate. Add some of the Pancetta on top and some Parmigiano mix around it.

Oven baked Samosas with ground beef

Being oven baked and not fried, these Samosas are wonderfully tender and light. Here, ground beef and potatoes are used, and you can make a non-meat alternative with only potatoes cooked with same spices.

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For the dough (similar to a pizza dough)
1- Mix 10 gr of baker’s yeast with 100 ml of warm water and let it stand for 10 minutes.
2- In a large bowl mix: one and half cup of sifted flour (I like to mix whole and white wheat flour), one teaspoon of salt and half a tablespoon of brown sugar.
3- Add half a cup of yogurt and the yeast liquid. Knead until the dough no longer sticks to your fingers (add some flour if need be) and knead some more.
4- Place a wet towel on the bowl, and let the dough rise for at least an hour.

For the filling (for 400 gr of high quality ground beef)
1- First cook 400 gr of potatoes washed and unpeeled in boiling water (place them in cold water and let the water boil) until a fork can pierce through them. Then peel them when they have cooled a little and mash roughly. You can add a little bit of butter when mashing them to help with the process. Set aside.
2- While the potatoes are cooking, place a little bit of olive oil in a large pan and add a teaspoon of cilantro (coriander) seeds, one and half teaspoon of cumin, one and half teaspoon of Madras curry, a teaspoon of freshly grated black pepper, some fresh ginger root grated, some garlic also freshly crushed and the pulp of three tomatoes. Add the ground beef and mix. Cook well and add a generous amount of fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves chopped at the very end.
3- Mix the meat and the potatoes together in a large bowl and set aside

To make the samosas (about 20 of them)
1- Take the dough out of the bowl and separate it in 20 equal portions.
2- Flatten each portion with a roller in the form of a square.
3- Place some of the meat and potato mixture in the center and fold in the form of a triangle. You can use some egg white to close each of them but it is not necessary. Just press with your fingers.
4- Brush each samosa with egg yolk.
5- Bake in a 200º c. oven for about 15-20 minutes.

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Enjoy with some Raita on the side (yoghurt with cucumber, cumin and fresh mint).

Mughal style ground beef

A recipe straight from the kitchen of the Mughal Court. The raisins add a wonderful touch!

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For 500gr of lean high quality ground beef:
1- In a pan, place just a little bit of olive oil and add: about 3 cm of fresh ginger root crushed, some crushed garlic, a teaspoon of Madras curry, a teaspoon of cumin, a small piece of a cinnamon stick, and salt and pepper to taste.
2- Once the spices give out their aroma, add half a kilo of very small tomatoes (slit them with a knife without cutting them so they may release their juices while cooking), a bunch of fresh cilantro chopped, a handful of raisins and the ground beef. Mix well.

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3- Cover and let it simmer for 15 minutes or until the meat is done. Mix from time to time.

Remember to take out the piece of cinnamon just before serving. I served it with white Basmati rice cooked with raisins and Raita (yoghurt mixed with cumin and cucumber).

Moroccan Kefta with tiny tomatoes

Using tiny organic tomatoes and the usual spices to make Moroccan Kefta.

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For 500 gr of high quality ground beef 
1- Wash and cut in half 500 gr of very small organic tomatoes.
2- Place in a pan with some olive oil and add a teaspoon of crushed black pepper, a teaspoon of turmeric, a teaspoon of cumin, two or three garlic cloves crushed, and some fresh ginger root also crushed.
3- Mix, cook on low fire and cover.
4- In the meantime, make the very little balls of meat between the palm of your hands. The smaller the better (about one to one and half cm in diameter).
5- When the tomatoes have released some of their liquid, add the Kefta and a generous bunch of fresh cilantro chopped. Mix and cover again.
6- Cook for about 15 minutes.

Serve with white rice and a salade. 

Note: Here a variation on the same Kefta recipe. This one has more sauce.