tangy chickpeas with spicy beef
food 52’s crispy lentils with lamb recently caught my eye, as did the recipe that it’s based on – mark bittman's crispy chickpeas with beef. in both instances the meat is cooked and then (already-cooked) pulses are added and this mix is cooked over a high heat to crisp everything up. spices and a bit of chilli are added plus seasoning and some fresh herbs to create a really flavourful dish that can be served with rice or flatbreads plus yoghurt. both variations are on my to-cook list.
i decided to start with the beef and chickpeas. instead of using chilli i added some of the cool chile company’s chipotles in adobo paste, with has a lovely smokiness as well as a fiery kick. i also added some preserved lemon for freshness ,a handful of barberries and some baby spinach.
the resulting dish was delicious and i really liked the balance of mince and chickpeas. this is a dish i’ll make again. although, having said that, i’m already thinking about a different version, with pomegranate molasses this time. and maybe one with some roasted aubergine added into the mix.
tangy chickpeas with spicy beef (serves 4-6)
1 tablespoon olive oil
400-500g beef mince
400g tin of chickpeas, drained but reserve the liquid (i will probably double this next time as i think the chickpeas should be the star of the dish)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 heaped teaspoon chipotle in adobo paste (or 1 chopped chilli)
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 preserved lemon, finely chopped, seeds discarded
small handful of dried barberries (optional)
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons, chopped coriander leaves
heat the oil and add the mince. cook over a high heat, stirring and breaking the mince up. add the cooked and drained chickpeas. keep heat high, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until chickpeas begin to brown and pop, 5 to 10 minutes. don't worry if mixture sticks a bit, but if it begins to scorch, lower heat slightly.
add the cumin, chipotle paste (or chilli) and garlic. cook, stirring, for about a minute. add reserved chickpea liquid (or c350ml water) and stir, scraping bottom of pan to loosen any browned bits. add the preserved lemon and barberries then season with salt (you may not need much as the lemon will be salty) and pepper, then turn heat to medium-low. continue to cook until mixture is no longer soupy but not dry.
stir in the coriander leaves and serve immediately, with rice and/or flatbreads and plain yoghurt.