Ribeyes are pretty. So are T bones. Of course they are. Pork chops? Those things look great in a cabinet. But if you really, truly want to support your local butcher, you should be checking out two things: ground meat and sausage. These are the items that help a butcher “balance a carcass”. What does that mean exactly? It means helping a butcher sell trimmings that have accumulated throughout a day’s work. Here’s the important part: a good butcher (one who loves their job) will take IMMENSE pride in those trimmings. It’s because they’ve ordered a whole carcass, you see. Not just boxes of the stuff they know will sell. Because of that, their sausages and their mince will be prepped with as much love and respect as those ribeyes we began this post with. That means removing gristle, sinew and bone fragment. It means patience and care and attention to detail. The end result will be some of the most affordable ways to enjoy PROPER MEAT. Ground meat and sausages are cheap, in comparison to those steaks and chops that everyone loves. The trick is what to do with them. And so begins a series we will be starting right here. Taking the least sexy meat item and making it… well… sexy. That’s the plan, anyway. First up? Pad Gra Pow. Basically, stir fried basil and beef. A Thai street food classic.
What you’ll need:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 garlic cloves, finely sliced or minced
2 red chiles, finely sliced
500g FFMM beef mince
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup FFMM chicken stock (Any good vegetable stock will do, or even water)
3 cups fresh basil leaves
2 medium carrots, coarsely grated
2 spring onions, finely sliced
Juice of two lime
2 x tablespoons soy sauce
1 x tablespoon fish sauce
1 x teaspoon honey
Limes, to serve
Cooked white rice (to serve)
What to do:
1. Heat about one tablespoon oil in a large pan (or wok or skillet) over high heat. Add garlic and 1 chilli and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add beef, season with salt and pepper, and cook. A nice tip here is to break up the meat and continuously press the meat down, helping it brown. Cook until nicely coloured and crispy (about 8–10 minutes.) Add stock or water and 2 cups basil. Cook, stirring, until basil is wilted. (About 2 minutes.)
2. Add carrots and spring onions, along with 1 tablespoon lime juice. Toss, working quickly. After one minute, add remaining chilli and the remaining basil leaves. Add second spoon of oil and toss.
3. In a small bowl, mix soy sauce, fish sauce, honey, and remaining lime juice.
4. To serve, spoon rice into bowls and drizzle with dressing. Serve with extra lime wedges.