Saturday, February 14, 2015

Chinese Ground Meat and Rice Casserole

I made this one with cooked leftover leg of lamb.
This recipe was inspired by one for Lamb Crepes Oriental. Just a hunch...most people reading here are not going to make crepes. I simplified things by using rice and making this a layered casserole. This is a delicious way to use up all sorts of cooked meats: beef, lamb, turkey, chicken, pork. If you don't have 2 cups of cooked meat, you can substitute 1 pound of ground meat. See the instructions for changes if you start with raw meat.

We don't usually think of cooking lettuce, but romaine is hardy, holding up to some gentle cooking, and adds some nice crunch here.

Chinese Ground Meat and Rice Casserole
(serves 4)

non-stick cooking spray
4 cups cooked rice (brown or white)
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil (if using cooked meat only)
1 onion, minced
2 cups of cooked chopped meat or poultry
1 pound ground meat
¼ cup beef broth
½ large head of romaine lettuce, shredded
½ teaspoon black pepper

1 Tablespoon cornstarch
2 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 Tablespoon dry sherry, sake, or rice wine
1 cup beef broth

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a 9"x11" baking dish with cooking spray. Spread the rice in the dish and set aside.

If using cooked meat, heat the oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauteacute; for 5 minutes. Add in the cooked meat and beef broth. Simmer until meat to warmed. Remove from heat, mix in lettuce and black pepper.

If using raw ground meat, heat up a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook the meat until no longer pink. Drain off most of the fat, leaving about 2 Tablespoons. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook the onion for 5 minutes. Add beef broth and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, mix in lettuce and black pepper.

Pour the meat-lettuce mixture over the rice.

Make the sauce: Combine the cornstarch, soy sauce, ginger, dry sherry, and beef broth in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Spoon the sauce over the meat. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes.

Adapted from a recipe for Lamb Crepes Oriental in Cooking with Cornelius: The Corning Cookbook by Cornelius O'Donnell, Random House, 1982

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