I love to cook, but when my children were very young I didn’t always have the time or the energy to prepare anything elaborate meals. I needed a meal that was a group pleaser, as well as being nutritious, with the minimum of time and cleanup.
Rice with beef and peas was a ‘go to’ dish back then, and it still is. Because my children have fond memories of this dish, they now prepare it in their own homes when in a hurry! Served with a green salad, this is a well-rounded meal, although personally, I prefer to serve it with a cucumber/yogurt salad with a touch of fresh mint thrown in. Comfort food done right!
Tip: Want to make this dish even easier? Cook up a big batch of the meat mixture and freeze it in portions. When you need a meal in a hurry, simply pull the already cooked meat out of the freezer to thaw, then cook with the rice and peas as directed.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 coffee mug basmati rice *
- 1 c frozen peas
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp allspice
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Place chopped onion, minced garlic and ground beef in a pan and brown over medium heat. If using regular ground beef, the fat in the beef will render out and cook the onion, but if you are using extra lean ground beef, add about 3 Tbsp of olive or vegetable oil to assist in the frying and to enhance the flavor of the onion and garlic.
2. When the beef is just browned, add the spices mixing them well throughout the beef. Then add salt and pepper to taste, allowing the beef mixture to be a little oversalty as the rice will need this.
3. Add the coffee mug of rice to the beef mixture along with 1 c. peas and 1 ½ coffee mugs of water. Stir and bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as the water begins to boil, lower the heat to minimum and cover tightly with a well-fitting lid. Leave the rice to cook for 20 minutes without lifting the lid or stirring the contents. At the end of 20 minutes, lift the lid and use a fork to check if all water is absorbed. Fluff the rice, replace the lid, and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Serves 4 as a main dish or more as a side.
* I have always used a coffee mug to measure my rice. It gives me just the right amount, whereas a measuring cup is not quite enough, but 2 measuring cups is too much.