It was cold outside and I just wanted a bowl of something comforting and warm, so I looked in the fridge to see what I could come up with. A good rummage produced onions, mincemeat some vegetables, red chillies and herbs.
I fried the onions, added the mince to brown, then added my spice mix, some red wine and beef stock. After adding the vegetables and simmering for a while I tasted the dish and found it ‘OK’.
But I really needed some comfort on this cold night and ‘OK’ just didn’t seem to fit the bill. So I turned to Ian for inspiration, and just as I did so the ‘phone rang, and never needing a second invitation to interfere, he started fiddling with the dish while I chatted to my daughter.
When I eventually got off the phone, Ian appeared with an outstretched tasting spoon, and, I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised. The dish now had more body and the taste had been given a real lift. Ian had added extra beef flavouring (‘stock pot’), some redcurrant jelly, red wine vinegar, additional seasoning, additional Worcester sauce and the real star – literally in this case – a large whole star anise, which gave the dish a lovely overtone, complimenting the beef perfectly.
We thoroughly enjoyed the spicy warmth with the perfect accompaniment – a generous glass of Argentinian Malbec.
You can see the detailed recipe here.