24/10/2011

Beef Mulligatawny Soup

Conventional paleo people should look away now! Beef Mulligatawny Soup contains rice!

Rice? What on earth?

You will have noticed that I frequently use dairy in my cooking - cheese, cream, soured cream, creme fraiche and yoghurt, and you might well have seen the very occasional use of white potatoes ... but rice?

This is not a paleo dish, as far as most conventional definitions of paleo go. This is a Perfect Health Diet dish.

So, having read what the Perfect Health Diet is all about are you now interested?

If it's not for you, it's not for you ... if it is, read on ...

Translated from Tamil, Mulligatawny literally means "pepper water". There are many recipes, consistent to all is that the soup is a hot, spicy liquid with some meat and bulked, if not thickened, with rice.

This recipe emulates the classic Heinz can of soup.

I'm afraid that there are no shortcuts to this. I suppose you could use a beef gravy, but it's not the same as ...

Slow-cook a large piece of beef brisket in water or a Belgian beer with lambs kidneys, mushrooms, onion and garlic for several hours. I use Leffe Blonde.

Retrieve the beef, set aside to rest in tin foil.

Retrieve the kidneys. Blend the remainder together to make a thick gravy, thickened fully with a little arrowroot in water. Return the kidneys to the gravy and pour over slices of beef brisket, served with vegetables. Enjoy!

Now you see what's going on ... this is leftovers dish!

Cool the leftover beef brisket in the fridge, along with the gravy in another dish.

Warm the gravy up with a gastrique - a splash of cider vinegar and a touch of honey, a good squirt of tomato purée, perhaps some ginger and several generous splashes of classic red Tabasco. Add a little water to thin out to a soup if necessary.

Meanwhile boil some rice - I used risotto rice, since my wife does not like basmati, but basmati would be the more authentic choice. The rice in the Heinz can is more puffed than just boiled basmati, so the risotto rice made it more akin to the canned version.

I guess this could be made in a more conventionally paleo way with cauliflower rice. If the cauliflower rice was lightly fried in a dusting of spices, that would be excellent! Turmeric, cumin and coriander would be just right.

Shred some of the leftover beef brisket and warm through in the soup.

Drain the rice and tip into the soup.

Serve out into a wide brim bowl and enjoy this warming, comforting soup.

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