8½ ounces quality ground beef
1 red onion, peeled
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
1 red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
A 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 or 2 chilies, deseeded and chopped
A small bunch of fresh cilantro
1 heaped tablespoon Patak's Madras curry paste
1 tablespoon tomato puree
Sea salt and ground pepper
1 heaped tablespoon HP sauce
5 cups organic beef stock
½ of a butternut squash (roughly 12 ounces)
A couple of sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
A couple of pinches of garam masala
1 cup basmati rice
Plain yogurt, to serve
Put a large pan on high heat and add a splash of olive oil and the ground beef.
Cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking up the beef, until it starts to turn golden and caramelize. Stir in the onion, carrot, garlic, red pepper, ginger and most of the chilies, and add a splash more oil, if needed. Cut the top leafy section off the cilantro and put aside in a cup of cold water for later. Finely chop the stalks and add to the pan. Cook and stir for about 10 minutes on a medium heat or until the veggies have softened.
Stir in the curry paste, tomato puree, a good pinch of salt and pepper and the HP sauce. After a few more minutes, when it smells fantastic, pour in the stock. Leave to blip away with the lid on over medium heat for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, cut the butternut squash into ½-inch chunks, getting rid of any seeds and gnarly bits (there's no need to peel it). Put a smaller pan on a high heat. Add a lug of olive oil and the squash. Stir in the thyme leaves and the garam masala. Pop a lid on the pan and cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat, stirring every few minutes, until softened and golden. Add a cup of rice to the pan with 2 cups of water and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Replace the lid and cook for about 8 minutes on medium heat, then turn the heat off and leave to steam for 8 minutes with the lid on.
Fluff up the rice and tip it into the soup. Have a taste, and season if needed. Gently mix together, then divide among your soup bowls with a good dollop of plain yogurt. Scatter over the cilantro leaves and add a sprinkling of fresh chili, if you like.
This recipe is from "Jamie Oliver's Great Britain" by Jamie Oliver (Hyperion, $35). Oliver delivers best of the old and new (including classic British immigrant food) in his first cookbook focused on England.