This is a something just a little bit different to do with minced beef. Now I realise that it isn’t normal to do the weekly shop without a meal plan in mind but that’s just me, I have to be different! I treat a trip to the supermarket as inspiration for future recipe creating and I fill my trolley up with whatever looks good that day, thinking about what on earth to do with it when I get home.
It’s like a real life Master Chef challenge (or perhaps more accurately in my case, a Ready Steady Cook challenge) everyday in my kitchen! And whilst I wouldn’t have it any other way, I can revert back to old favourites when I’m tired and not feeling quite so inspired. My Instant Pot Cajun Beef was the result of being shattered but hungry.
In danger of using said beef to make another cottage pie or a batch of ragu, I turned to my foodie friends for inspiration – there’s quite a number of us who have known each other for best part of a decade and as we hail from all four corners of the globe (how does a sphere have corners?), we keep in touch via Facebook.
It was hardly a minute after I posted a question asking “what else can I do with minced beef that isn’t ragu or cottage pie?” that I had perhaps fifty ideas delicious dinners using mince! I’ve even saved the list for future reference but the suggestions of something spicy like tacos or curry meatballs piqued my interest and that is how I came up with my Cajun Beef. I mix up my own Cajun Seasoning (recipe in the infographic below) and it’s smokey, spicy and seriously good rubbed into meat before roasting so I figured it would work well with my mince.
Now, as I shot this when Hungry Hubby was still doing his month-long carb-free (or more correctly, very low carb) diet, I served it with a little cheese and a simple avocado, cherry tomato salsa instead of rice or some freshly baked bread but I hope you can see how welcome a little starch would be here. it might not be an authentically Cajun dish, based down through generations of Louisiana cooks but hopefully, and most importantly in my book, you’ll find it authentically delicious.
A hot and spicy minced beef dish you can whip up for dinner in a jiffy midweek.
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 large red onion, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp cajun seasoning (see post for recipe)
- 1 roasted red pepper, roughly chopped (you can use the ones in oil or vinegar from a jar)
- 500 g lean minced beef
- 1 can chopped tomatoes (about 400g)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1 tbsp pickled jalapeños, chopped (or as many as you like)
- 1 small can sweetcorn, drained (about 200g)
- 150 g cooked black beans, rinsed and drained (see notes for how to cook them in the Instant Pot)
Turn the Instant Pot on to Sauté and when hot, add the oil and briefly fry the onion until it starts to catch and caramelise around the edges.
Stir in the garlic and cajun seasoning and cook until fragrant (barely a minute) then add the peppers and minced beef. Cook until no obvious pink meat remains.
Add in the tomatoes and about a third of the can's worth of water. Give it a really good stir then pop the lid on, close the vent and set to Manual High for 15 minutes. QPR when done.
Add in the drained sweetcorn and black beans then cook until the sauce is reduced to your liking. Serve with steamed rice, salad, salsa, cheese as liked.
If you need to cook your black beans, then you can either soak them overnight then drain and cover with fresh water in the Instant Pot and cook on Manual High for 20 minutes OR cook without soaking for 25-30 minutes on Manual High.
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