Sichuan Lamb Ragu with White Rice
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
1 cup medium-grain white rice
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 tablespoons hot bean paste
¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
2 pounds ground American Lamb
2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ cup fermented black beans, soaked 30 minutes, drained, and rinse
¼ cup chili oil
¼ cup sesame oil
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns, toasted and ground
½ teaspoon five spice
½ teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
½ cup thinly sliced scallions
1 cup cilantro leaves
Wash rice by submerging in 1 quart water; stir with hands and drain well. Repeat twice more; drain completely. In a medium saucepan, combine rice and 2 cups water; bring to a boil over high heat. Stir rice with a wooden spoon; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring rice occasionally. Turn off heat; cover pot. Let rice sit for about 15 minutes to absorb last of the water; fluff with a fork. Cover tightly until ready to serve.
In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, heat oil. Add garlic and ginger; cook until golden, stirring often. Add bean paste; cook until fragrant. Add soy sauce; stir until incorporated. Add lamb and sauté. When lamb is broken up and starting to brown, add stock; simmer for 15 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and 1 tablespoon ice water. Whisk into ragu; let thicken. Add beans, chili oil, sesame oil, peppercorns, five spice and cumin; simmer for 30 minutes.
Place 1 cup of rice into 6 bowls; divide ragu on top. Garnish with scallions and cilantro.