Aside from steak, is there anything better than pasta? That is a question I struggle with all the time. However, until I find the answer to that, I will continue to eat both whenever I freaking please.
I was watching this video by Eater recently where they interview the CEO of Xi’an Famous Foods, a really popular Chinese food joint in NYC where I intend to eat there soon. The video highlights an amazing spicy noodles lamb dish that they make at the restaurant. The second I saw the final product, I knew I had to make that dish at home. Or at least something similar to it.
So I went to the grocery store, checked the meat section, and unfortunately I couldn’t find lamb. It is 2019, and some grocery stores don’t have lamb on them. I mean, wth?! This was after a long day at work, so I definitely wasn’t in the mood to make fresh noodles.
Then BAM! I was struck by the lightening of beef ragu! I told myself: “Habibi, why don’t you get yourself some good quality ground beef, some organic pappardelle, and make beef ragu with homemade chili oil?”
Myself responded: “Habibi, that’s a brilliant idea. Let’s do it!”
Once I posted the process of me making that dish on my Instagram story, a bunch of my habibis were asking me to share the recipe with them. So here I am!
- 1 lb of ground beef (85% lean is ideal)
- 1 cup of sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup of sliced onions
- 1 tbsp of finely chopped garlic
- sliced scallions for garnish.
- 1 cup of ground chili flakes
- 2 tbsp of cayenne pepper. If you want less spicy, use less cayenne
- 1 tbsp of black pepper corns
- ground black pepper
- 4 cardamom pods
- 4 cloves
- 2 dry bay leaves
- 1 tbsp of salt
- 2 cups of oil. I used olive oil, but you could use vegetables oil.
A- First thing first, prepare the chili oil:
- Get you a nice jar to store the oil in. You can use it many times in the future.
- Add the oil in a pan/pot. To it, you will add the black pepper corns, cardamom, cloves, and bay leaves. Heat oil on medium heat until you see a tiny little bit of smoke. Don’t make it too hot otherwise it will burn everything you put in there. Take your pan/pot off the heat.
- In the jar, add your chili flakes, cayenne pepper, and salt.
- Add your now flavored oil in the jar and stir a little bit. Set the jar aside and let the oil cool off.
B- Prepare the beef:
- Heat up your cast iron pan (or any pan) on medium high. Add about 2 tbsp of your chili oil and let it come up to temperature.
- Add your onions and garlic and saute for just a few seconds. Then add in your beef and cook until golden brown.
- Take off all the meat and place it on a separate plate. In the same pan, add a little bit more chili oil and your mushrooms. Cook until they lose all their water.
- Mix the beef + mushrooms together and set aside.
C- Prepare the pasta:
You know how to cook pasta. Follow the instructions on the back of the bag. I like my pasta al dente, so I usually cook it a minute or two less than what the package suggests.
D-Mix Everything together:
- In a large mixing bowl, add your beef, mushrooms, and pasta.
- Add some more chili oil on top. I added about 3-4 tbsp. Make sure you get chili flakes in these spoons!
- Mix everything thoroughly so that all ingredients are coated evenly.
- Optional: if you would like extra heat, just sprinkle some cayenne pepper on top.
- Garnish with some scallions and you’re all set.
I hope you give this dish a try because it is absolutely delicious and easy to make.
And if you do give it a try, post your results on Instagram with hashtag #habibisknowbest. I want to see how it turns out for you and whether you liked it or not.