Monday, August 29, 2011

Ground Beef w/ Star Anise, Carrots and Celery paired w/Brown Rice & Kale Cooked in Beef Stock

Okay, so I don't know what to name this so it's a loooong title.
I was inspired by Katie's dishes (my neighbor's girlfriend) that she made on Sunday, so I wanted to try my own version. Her dish had spunk, so immediately I thought of Star Anise. It's usually put in Chinese dishes and soups, but I wanted to experiment. So glad I did. Makes 4 servings:

Brown Rice & Kale Cooked In Beef Stock

4 cups water
1 cup brown rice (rinse in strainer under cold water until it is clear)
4 beef bouillon cubes
3 cups of chopped kale (unstemmed and dried)

Cooking instructions:
In a pot, add water and bring to a boil. As soon as it boils, add bouillon cubes. Let is dissolve, stir then add brown rice. Stir rice once. Bring heat to medium heat, and cook uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 30 minutes, turn off heat and pour rice in a strainer over the sink. Let rice strain for 10 seconds. Add rice back to the pot, but not on the heat. Immediately add kale, and cover rice tightly for 10 minutes to let it steam. I had to cover with aluminum foil first before covering with the lid because it was not tight enough. After 10 minutes, remove lid and fluff. While the rice is cooking, go ahead and begin preparing the ground beef.

Ground Beef w/ Star Anise, Carrots and Celery

1 peeled and chopped carrot
2 chopped celery sticks
1 lb ground beef
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 T brown sugar
1/2 cup water
2 T worcestershire sauce
1 star anise (I bought the organic kind)
1 t olive oil
2 t pepper

In a medium nonstick pan, turn heat to medium high. When pan is hot,  add ground beef. Break it up with a spatula and add 1 clove of the minced garlic and 1T worcestershire sauce. Continue breaking up the beef until brown. Turn off heat. Drain beef and set it aside.

Add about a teaspoon of olive oil to the nonstick pan and turn on heat to medium. When pan is hot, add the other clove of minced garlic and stir. Once you smell the garlic, add the carrots and celery. Add 1/2 cup water and let it simmer. Add the star anise to the water so the flavor distributes throughout the water and into the vegetables. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until water is pretty much gone. Add ground beef and stir/mix for another couple of minutes. Add 1T worcestershire sauce and pepper, stir and turn off heat.

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