‘spicy’ mince & sweet potato hash (cooked under the influence)

April 6, 2014

This is a very special recipe as I’m dedicating it to my long-time gal friend, (and fellow food appreciator), Anna-Hay. Anna’s about to embark on an adventure which I am, (as always) most respectful and (in the words of Hugh Grant in 4 Weddings’) “in bewildered awe” of: My darling friend Anna is getting hitched, to Mark – the man of her dreams 🙂 As part of a little gift for her ‘pre-i-do’ celebration (which unfortunately I’m unable to attend), along with her other girl-friends, I’ve been asked to supply a recipe which will be included in a little keepsake given to Anna to mark this special occasion. No pressure.

In most of my recipe posts, I like to focus on a particular ingredient and highlight its nutritional benefits. For this post, I have chosen to include a number of nutritionally rich ingredients, which also share another benefit – they are said to be aphrodisiacs and therefore increase sexual desire! At the risk of going all Nigella on you, let’s face it – eating anything with someone you love is an aphrodisiac, right? 😉 In addition to including a healthy dose of some of the well-documented (and also some of the lesser-known) ‘aphrodisiacs‘, (embellished at the red links below), I decided to develop/dedicate this recipe for Anna because, like Anna, it’s jam-packed with so many great qualities:

  • It makes you feel good! (Nourishing AND tasty!)
  • It’s elegantly simplistic (all prepared in the one pan = less time cleaning up means more time to do other, funner stuff)
  • It’s social (a great dish to share with friends, right from the table)
  • It’s versatile (perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner)
  • It has a ‘choose your own adventure’ element (you can cook 95% of it in advance, then finish if off later for a great work meal)

Also, Anna ‘liked’ a photo of this dish I posted on facebook. (I hope it wasn’t a mis-click!)

This was originally inspired by a recipe on a great blog I frequent – Civilized Caveman Cooking, and lovingly adapted especially for you my friend, Anna 🙂

Serves 4

ingredients

  • 1 computer with internet & speakers
  • 1 bottle of nice red wine
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil (or good quality extra virgin olive oil)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 fresh red chilli (or more or less to your taste)
  • 2 rashes of bacon (preferably organic and nitrate-free)
  • 500-800g beef mince (preferably grass-fed)
  • ½-1 cup stock (any you like, preferably fresh/organic/free from sugar/other preservative nasties)
  • 2 tsp raw honey
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder (or the equivalent mixture of your favourite dried spices – smoked paprika would also be nice)
  • 1 medium-sized sweet potato (4 packed cups once julienned)
  • 2 cups silverbeet/kale (2 packed cups once shredded)
  • 4 eggs (preferably local, organic, free range)
  • ¼ cup organic fetta (cow’s/goat/whatever you prefer – omit if dairy free)
  • ½ cup raw almonds, roughly chopped up (raw/blanched/smoked/whatever you have in the pantry)
  • 1 Tbsp pre-prepared dukka (or some more curry powder/roasted sesame seeds if you don’t have dukka)
  • 1 firm avocado
  • Tabasco sauce – optional

method

  1. Pop on the ‘500 Days of Summer’ soundtrack and open your bottle of red to breathe.
  2. Dice your onion and leave it sitting on your chopping board (read my tip as to why under ‘Health’ on my ‘cooking tips’ page).
  3. Good job! Pour yourself a glass of that lovely red and have a sip.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 180°C. (If you’re cooking in advance for work lunches, no need for the oven.)
  5. Dice the bacon, and finely chop the garlic & chilli.
  6. Julienne the sweet potato (I use a julienne peeler which you can pick up cheaply from most kitcheny-gadget stores; otherwise grate coarsely) and shred the silverbeet.
  7. Add coconut/olive oil into the biggest oven-proof fry-pan you have and set to medium heat.
  8. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and stir for 5 minutes until soft, whilst sipping your red.
  9. Add the garlic, chilli & bacon and stir for another couple of minutes until soft and fragrant. More sipping.
  10. Add the mince and cook (breaking it up with a wooden spoon) until brown.
  11. Add the stock, honey and a big splash of red wine from the bottle, mix well to combine then leave for about 20 minutes to allow the flavours to develop.
  12. By now you should be about up to Hall & Oats  ‘You Make My Dreams Come True’ – have a little dance around the kitchen.
  13. Enjoy another glass of red.
  14. Mix through the curry powder, add in the sweet potato and mix thoroughly through the beef mixture.
  15. Lastly, add the (mountains of) silverbeet and fold in well (it will wilt as it cooks through!).
  16. If you have a lid cover the pan, otherwise, keep cooking until the silverbeet has wilted and is well-mixed-through. (I like to leave the pan still for 5-10 mins until the bottom of the pan starts to crisp up a little)*
  17. Make a hole in each quarter of the mixture (that’s 4 holes, in case you’re slightly tipsy); carefully crack an egg into each hole.
  18. Sprinkle over almonds, crumbled fetta and dukka, then whack it in the oven.
  19. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the eggs are cooked to your liking.
  20. Quarter the avocado, slice each quarter.
  21. Set the table along with heat mat and egg lifter; sip of celebratory vino time.
  22. Put oven mits on both hands and take out of the oven (carefully!).
  23. Serve to the table, arrange sliced avocado on top, drizzle Tobasco sauce (if desired) then sprinkle a little more dukka for theatrical flair.

*If you’re making this in advance for a work meal, stop after step 15 and let the mixture cool. Separate it into 4 microwave-safe containers. When you’re ready to eat a portion, crack an egg on top and sprinkle over the almonds, fetta & dukka. Microwave until the egg is cooked to your liking then top it off with some fresh avocado. (Or if you’re ok with runny eggs, heat the dish well, then crack the egg on top of the hot mixture and mix through well.) Carry back to your work-desk/lunchroom and wait for the co-worker jealousy! And for dessert, in appreciation of Anna’s love for the written word, enjoy my favourite food-related literary quote:

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” – Virginia Woolf

xxx

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7 Comments

  • Reply Kate Sowden April 6, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Yummo!!! xxxxxxxxxxxxx

  • Reply jenhooper April 6, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Sal I love your words, this post is so special and so well constructed/ created/ composed!! Xx

    • Reply sassybites April 6, 2014 at 11:48 pm

      Thanks Jen! Always so much more fun writing about something meaningful and fun! Glad you enjoyed x

  • Reply chef mimi April 6, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    What a great post! And recipe!

    • Reply sassybites April 6, 2014 at 11:48 pm

      Thanks so much chef Mimi! If you decide to give it a go, let me know what you think! xS

  • Reply Daisy Donnelly April 7, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Brilliant, love it! What a lovely friend you are 🙂

    • Reply sassybites April 7, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      Ahhh thanks Dais! It’s so easy and rewarding cooking for people you love 🙂 xx

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