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Spicy Minced Lamb or Beef

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Spicy Minced beef

Nice on its own or wrapped in a tortilla. Great over pasta too with some chopped tomatoes.

This is one of those one pot meals I love to make on the weekends. It’s so easy to prepare and can be served in a number of different ways. The recipe was influenced by the Mexcian dishes I used to make growing up in California though I have given it a bit of an Indian twist here.

The minced meat can be served on it’s own with a simple salad though I like to wrap it up in warm tortillas or chapatis. It’s so good topped with cheese, lettuce, salsa, sour cream or anything else you fancy.

When I make this recipe for my family, there are never any leftovers. You will be surprised at just how good minced beef and lamb can taste. For best results, I recommend letting the minced meat marinate in the spice paste for one or two days. That isn’t necessary though.

One of the ingredients used is called achiote or annatto seed paste. It’s used a lot in Mexican cookery. Here in the UK you won’t find it at supermarkets so you will probably need to source it online. Achiote paste gives the meat a brilliant orange colour and an earthy flavour that is out of this world gorgeous. Although you can leave it out and still get great results, I highly recommend sourcing some. You will thank me for it. I order mine online from The Cool Chile Company.

Marinade paste for minced beef

The marinade paste.

Minced beef with marinade

Mix the marinade paste into the minced beef.

Spicy minced beef

Fry in a little vegetable oil until cooked through.

spicy minced beef

All done and ready to serve.

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Yield: 4 - 6

Spicy Minced Lamb or Beef

Spicy Minced Lamb or Beef
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 kilo ( 2lbs ) minced beef or lamb
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion - roughly chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 2 - 3 green chilli peppers
  • 1 green bell pepper - roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoons achiotte (annatto) paste
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • A pinch of clove powder
  • A pinch of cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place all of the ingredients except for the minced meat and oil in a blender or food processor and blend until you have a paste.
  2. Mix this paste into the minced meat with your hands so that all of the meat is coated.
  3. Leave for one to 24 hours to marinate.
  4. When ready to cook, heat the oil in a large pan or wok. Pour in the meat can fry until cooked through. Break the meat apart with a spoon while cooking so that there aren't any lumps.
  5. Check for seasoning and serve.
  6. Note: If you prefer more sauce, add a tin or two of chopped tomatoes or about 250ml beef stock.

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I developed and wrote this recipe as part of the #LivePeasant campaign which is designed to encourage every day, at home cooks to embrace a more simple, rustic approach to cooking – inspired by the current ‘Peasant Food’ trend. The idea is to use a more affordable, hearty, one-pot cooking form to incorporate more beef and lamb into your diet. You can find more information here.


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