One of our super simple, full of flavour, family favourites for dinner today for our “first day back at school” dinner; Kıymali Bezelye (Mince & Pea Casserole).
Swapped my usual beef mince for lamb mince tonight as that’s what I had at home (and I usually make the traditional lamb version with cubes of lamb shoulder anyway). I do love the beef mince version though, but feel free to make it with chicken or turkey mince too (just bear in mind that chicken and turkey mince are much leaner so might not carry the flavours as well as beef or lamb). Such a family pleaser, the kids love it, it’s super simple, and freezes brilliantly.
3 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, roughly chopped
4 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
4 medium white potatoes, peeled and chopped into large chunks / quarters
500g beef / lamb mince
4 garlic cloves, crushed or very finely chopped
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp sea salt flakes
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin
1 bay leaf
700g frozen peas
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 litre chicken stock (1 stock cube dissolved in 1 litre of boiling water)
Put a large pan with the olive oil on medium heat and add the onions. Soften for 10-12 mins, then add the carrots and potatoes and cook for around another 10-12 mins, until lightly browned on the edges, stirring often.
Add the mince and cook for 8-10 mins until browned.
Add the garlic cloves, paprika, black pepper and sea salt flakes, cinnamon and cumin, and the bay leaf and stir for a minute or so.
Add the frozen peas and cook for 10 mins-15 until the peas start to change colour a little and lose their brightness.
Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato purée and the chicken stock then bring up to boil and turn down to leave it simmer with lid half off for around 1 hour. Leave to settle for 30 mins with lid on before serving so that all the flavours really settle. Serve with vermicelli rice.
*As with all stews, the flavour of this dish is even better the next day, so it can be cooked in advance, and it also freezes well.