This is one of my favorite dishes that my mom used to make. The original recipe came from Betty Crocker’s Casserole Book, but to me it was always my mom’s meal. Now, whenever I’m stuck on something to eat or want to make something simple for a small group of friends, I make this dish. We’ve actually gotten a number of requests from said friends to post this recipe, so here it is!
The ingredients to this dish seem a bit odd at first glance – peanut butter? Raisins? But trust me, just go with it. The ingredients are simple and cooking is even easier.
- 1 – 1.5 lbs (450 g) ground beef
- 1 medium onion (diced)
- 1 cup rice (I use Jasmine, but almost any should do)
- 2 1/2 cup water
- 2 tsp chicken bouillon (or 1 cube)
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ginger (powder is fine)
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 3 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/2 cup raisins
This has got to be one of the easiest dishes to prepare, so this method will be short. The only real trick here is what you use to cook it. You’ll want something with a fairly wide base – you don’t want the ingredients to be stacked too high while cooking. I usually use either a very wide pan with a top or, my more preferred cast iron pot.
Heat the pan up to medium heat and add the ground beef. Fry until browned, and then drain excess fat. Add chopped onion and turn heat to low and let cook 5-10 minutes, until onions start to become a bit translucent.
While your pan is initially heating up, you can prepare all of the dry ingredients in a single bowl. Add the rice, bouillon, curry powder, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and raisins to a bowl and set them aside.
Once the onions are translucent, add the water, dump the contents of the bowl into the pan, and then add the peanut butter and honey. Mix it all up with spatula/wooden spoon and cover the pan. You’re pretty much done now – just let it sit and simmer at low heat for 20 to 30 minutes. You’ll want to stir it up every 5-10 minutes to prevent burning or sticking.
You’ll know it’s done once 1) there isn’t any standing liquid left, and 2) the rice is soft. If your liquid is gone but the rice isn’t quite fully finished, add another half cup of water and wait another 5 minutes. The finished dish should look like the top image of this post.
Once finished, let it sit for 5-10 minutes to cool down a bit and let the flavors settle (the flavors really do settle – taste it when it looks done, and then taste it 10 minutes later). It might not look overly colorful or pretty, but this is comfort food. Grab a bowl of it, add some hot sauce if you’re into that, and settle down on the couch.