Posts Tagged 'mince'

Seekh Kebab

Seekh Kebab with Naan Bread and Raita

Seekh kebabs are a classic on Indian restaurant menus and typically cooked in the tandoor oven. “Seekh” means skewer, but the truth is you don’t really need skewers for this; just form the meat into long sausage shapes before cooking. You can also form the meat into patties, which will turn them into a “shami” kebab. My version uses great flavourings such as fenugreek, fresh mint and garam masala.

The trick to achieving a good seekh kebab is to finely mince the lamb. Minced lamb from the butcher or supermarket is typically too coarse. Use a food processor to pulse the lamb giving a finer texture. By doing this you won’t need any binding ingredients such as egg or flour. Don’t go crazy with the food processor, you don’t want purée!

Serve with naan bread, salad and raita.

(Note: you could also add a small pinch of red food colouring, as the restaurants do, but you really don’t need it.)


  • 450g minced lamb (I used minced lamb shoulder)
  • thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 green chili peppers, very finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tbsp tomato pureé
  • 1 tsp salt
  • handful fresh mint
  • handful fresh coriander
  • juice of ½ lemon

Seekh Kebab


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Run the lamb mince through your food processor to achieve a finer texture, as described above. Place in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well before shaping, use metal skewers if you have them.
  4. I like to use a grill pan to cook this in the oven. This means a lot of the fat can cook out of the meat, but it will still be succulent. Place on the grill pan and cook for 15 minutes.

Serves 4 as a starter, 2 for a main course.

Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe

Spag Bol

We love “Spag Bol” in our house. If I was a real food blogger, I would have called this post “ragu”. But I don’t have a problem with accompanying this great sauce with spaghetti, so spaghetti bolognese it is. What I am precious about, and have been for many years, is not using that crappy red gloop you buy in jars.

This recipe is the real deal. Good quality minced beef and pork, a good vegetable base, some wine, tomato passata and a few herbs transform this innocent sounding dish into something truly special. If you try this recipe I promise you’ll never cook a “bol” in any other way.


  • 450g minced beef
  • 450 minced pork (or use 800g of beef with 100g smoked bacon pieces)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped
  • 1 small courgette, finely chopped
  • 500g tomato passata
  • 250ml beef stock
  • 1 glass wine (optional)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • pinch of sugar
  • handful of fresh basil (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese


  1. Heat a little olive oil in a large saucepan or casserole. Add the onion and fry until golden.
  2. Add the minced beef and pork and fry hard until brown, then add the garlic and fry for a minute more.
  3. Add the chopped vegetables and fry for a few minutes, then add the rest of the ingredients, apart from the basil. Season with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Bring to the boil, cover the saucepan, then reduce the heat and leave on a very gentle simmer for 45 minutes. Don’t be tempted to shorten the cooking time – this is important to let the flavours deepen.
  5. Cook a batch of your favourite spaghetti (I like to use De Cecco) and add to the sauce. Add the torn basil leaves at this point, if using. Taste for seasoning and add some extra salt and pepper if necessary.
  6. Serve in deep bowls with a generous handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4-6.

Beef & Bean Chili

Most of the credit for this “Beef & Bean Chili” recipe goes to the wife. I’ve added some nice ‘extras’ such as the oregano and chipotle, but it’s essentially her recipe. Go all out, serve with rice, sour cream, salsa, chips, wraps and a few beers. It’s really, really, really good.

Beef & Bean Chili


  • 900g good-quality minced beef
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 sticks celery, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium courgette, chopped
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1-2 tbsp dried chilli flakes (depending on your tolerance)
  • 1 tsp ground chipotle chilli pepper
  • 5 tbsp tomato ketchup (Chef is perfect for this)
  • 5g dark chocolate (85% cocoa solids)
  • 250ml beef stock
  • 5 tbsp concentrated tomato puree
  • 2 x 400g canned tomatoes
  • 2 x 400g cans kidney beans
  • 2 x 400g can black-eye beans


  1. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pot or casserole. Add the onions and fry until starting to colour. Add the garlic, minced beef and a little salt. Fry hard to get some colour on the meat.
  2. Add the vegetables, chilli flakes, cumin, coriander, chipotle and fry for a minute or two.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients, apart from the black-eye beans, bring to the boil and then simmer gently for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Add the black-eye beans 5 minutes before the end, as the tend to break up more easily. Season with salt if necessary and some freshly ground black pepper.

Serves 6-8.


  • Tomato ketchup might seem like an unlikely addition to a good chilli, but it really does work. It’s the perfect mixture sweet, sour and spice and gives a great depth to the dish. My personal preference is for Chef over Heinz.
  • You could substitute a teaspoon of cocoa powder for the dark chocolate. Again, this gives the chilli a deep, rich taste.
  • I use kidney beans here out of habit more than anything, but you could use any robust bean: chickpeas, pinto beans etc.
  • The ground chipotle powder is optional here because it’s not that easy to come by. It gives a great smoky flavour. I’ve previously substituted this with about 200g of finely chopped chorizo, which is a great alternative.
  • This dish is excellent if it’s eaten the day after it’s cooked. It also freezes extremely well.
  • Sometime I like to make my “Devil’s Breath” version, adding a tablespoon of “Chipotle in Adobo”, along with 2 teaspoons of “Habanero Hot Sauce”. You can use any brand you wish, but I use the products from the Cool Chile Co.