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Easy One Dish Chow Mein &
One Dish Sweet Malay Minced Beef Curry


       curry mince with the lot


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Easy One Dish Chow Mein

Chow Mein is by definition ‘a Chinese-style dish of fried noodles with shredded meat or seafood and vegetables’.

My version, which is a ‘go to meal’ on our camping trips, is a little different and there’s not a fried noodle in sight. I’ve been making this for well over 40 years and it is a recipe that is in my original hand written recipe book I started back in my late teens. Truth be known I probably got it from my Mum.

Packed full of mince and vegetables, with a few added bits and pieces, it’s a delicious, easy meal that everyone will enjoy. And it’s one-dish. You can make it as hot and spicy as you want, or tone it down for the kids or those who aren’t big lovers of curry flavour. It’s adaptable and you can put in whatever veggies you like or have on hand. As long as you’ve got the basic ingredients the rest is up to you.

 

Preparation: 15 mins (depending how much chopping of vegetables you do)
Cooking Time: approx. 20 mins
Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients
2 tblspns oil
1 to 2 onions – chopped
2 cloves garlic – crushed (or use 2 tspns paste/minced tube or jar variety)
2 stalks celery – chopped
1 x large carrot - diced
A good big handful of fresh green beans if you’ve got them – cut into smallish pieces
1 to 2 tblspns curry powder (more or less to taste)
750gm minced chicken, pork or beef (all work well)
1 x sml/med can corn kernels - drained
1 x med can pineapple pieces (pieces & juice) – optional, but I love it
3 to 4 tblspns rice
1 x pkt chicken noodle soup
1 tblspn sweet chilli sauce
1 to 2 tspns soy sauce (use 1 tspn first, taste and adjust to suit)
1 cup chicken stock
salt, pepper to taste
1/2 small cabbage – sliced
water or stock if needed
finely sliced spring onions to serve - optional

Directions
Heat the oil in a large pan (heavy based preferably), or your camp oven would be perfect.
Add the onion, garlic, celery, carrot and beans and sauté over a medium heat for a few minutes. Add the curry powder and sauté for another 2 mins until you can smell the aroma of the curry. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Heat a little more oil if need be and add the mince and brown, making sure you break it up so there are no lumps.
You can add a little more curry powder to the mince at this stage if you want and stir for a few minutes.
Return the sautéed vegetables to the pan, along with the corn, pineapple (pieces & juice), rice, noodle soup, sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce and chicken stock. Mix well to combine all the ingredients.
Taste and then season to your liking.
Bring to the boil, then add the cabbage to the top of the mixture, cover and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
Cook for about 20 mins, stirring occasionally. (By adding the cabbage to the top and letting the heat wilt it down, it is a lot easier to mix through after a little cooking time.)
Keep a check on the liquid and add some more chicken stock or water if needed.
As the chow mein cooks, the rice will swell and take up the liquid. You need enough liquid in the pot to cook the rice, but not too much or you’ll have a soup.

Viv’s Hints: you can add whatever vegetables you prefer. If you like it hotter, add some finely chopped fresh red chilli (seeds removed, unless you really like it hot!!), or a teaspoon or more of crushed chilli paste. Again, you can also add more curry powder. Adjust to suit our taste buds. You could serve it sprinkled with some fried noodles. It’s also great cold in a sandwich or on dry biscuits the next day.



 

One Dish Sweet Malay Minced Beef Curry
A meal-in-one, and one the kids will enjoy as well; just go a little easy on the amount of curry used to suit their taste.

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients
oil
500gm to 750gm minced beef (depending on how many you are feeding)
1 med/lg onion - finely chopped
2 garlic cloves – crushed (or use 2 tspns minced garlic)
1 x med/lg carrot – chopped
1 stalk celery – chopped
2 lge potatoes (or use baby chat potatoes – approx 6 to 8) – peeled and chopped into small pieces (no need to peel if they are washed or new potatoes)
1 large apple – peeled and coarsely grated
1 tblspn curry powder (more or less to taste - or you could use a curry paste)
1 tblspn plain flour
1 x 440gm can diced tomatoes
½ cup sultanas
½ cup frozen peas (or use pkt dehydrated peas)
1 ½ cups beef stock
1 tblspn Worcestershire sauce
1 to 2 tblspns fruit chutney (a hot mango chutney would be nice – more or less to taste)
½ to 1 tblspn brown sugar (more or less to your taste)
salt & pepper to taste

Method
In a large heavy-based pan, or you camp oven, heat a little oil, then add beef and stir until browned. You’ll need to keep breaking it up with either a spoon, or try using a masher, so you don’t have any lumps in the mince.
Remove and set aside.
Add a little more oil to the pan if necessary, and add the onion, garlic, carrot, celery, potatoes and apple and sauté for a few minutes over a med-high heat.
Sprinkle over the curry powder (or add the paste) and stir for another minute or so to bring out the full flavour of the curry.
Add the flour and mix it through the vegetable mixture and cook for a few minutes to take away any flour taste.
Return the browned mince to the pan, along with the tomatoes, sultanas, (dehydrated peas if using them – not the frozen peas), stock, Worcestershire sauce, chutney and brown sugar.
Mix well and then season to taste.
Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.
Add the frozen peas if using and cook until they are heated through.
Serve on a bed of rice or mashed potato, or spoon into a flatbread or roti.

Viv’s hint: Use a brought curry paste such as Madras, Massaman or Rogan Josh – something with a bit of ‘body’ instead of the curry powder.
Other ingredients that would be great in the curry are sweet potato and pumpkin.

 

 

 

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