Meat maestro is also a funghi

Celebrity chef Adrian Richardson: beef up mince with mushrooms

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SHROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: Celebrity chef Adrian Richardson says mushrooms can enhance the flavour of meat.

SHROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: Celebrity chef Adrian Richardson says mushrooms can enhance the flavour of meat.

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Chef Adrian Richardson says adding mushrooms to mince is both healthy and delicious.

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CELEBRITY chef Adrian Richardson is encouraging Australians to eat less meat by blending mince with mushrooms.

Adrien rose to fame on shows such as Good Chef Bad Chef, Secret Meat Business and Boys Weekend, and is the owner of Melbourne's La Luna Restaurant.

He is also the author of MEAT and to date, his career has focused heavily on making delicious dishes out of red meat.

But he has now signed on with the Australian Mushroom Growers Association (AMGA) to launch new campaign Mushrooms + Mince = The Blend.

The campaign encourages Australians to cook healthier, more plant-forward meals, by using a combination of mushrooms and minced meat - coining the phrase "Blenditarian".

Research from Food Frontier indicates one in three Australians are "flexitarians", people who are actively trying to reduce their meat consumption - with the main motivator being health.

Seniors are a leading the way, with 43 per cent of meat-reducers being baby boomers.

Adrian said the blend was a simple way for meat-lovers to reduce their meat intake, while still enjoying foods they loved.

"It's not about telling people they can't eat meat. Meat is delicious," he said.

"But if you are trying to feed the kids healthier meals or if you want to reduce the amount of meat you eat, it can be confusing on what to cook.

"I've been blending mushrooms with mince for years, not just because it's healthier, because it makes burgers and meatballs taste meatier and juicier."

According to Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), the average Australian eats 25kg of beef a year, with 30 per cent of it being minced.

Accredited Practicing Dietician Jane Freeman said substituting a portion of mince for mushrooms.

"Mushrooms also have a unique advantage due to their umami flavour (which is the same flavour profile of meat)," she said.

"By adding mushrooms to minced meat dishes, the 'meaty' flavour is proven to be enhanced, and less salt is needed- this a benefit no other vegetable can claim."

To promote this simple cooking technique, the AMGA has launched a new website, which contains recipe inspiration, cooking videos and Adrian's Blended Recipe eBook. To check it out click HERE

Read on for Adrian's delicious recipe for Tandoori Beef & Mushroom Blended Kofta Balls.

Tandoori Beef & Mushroom Blended Kofta balls

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

Serves: 4

This recipe blends 25 per cent mushrooms and 75 per cent beef mince

Ingredients

To make the kofta balls:

-600g beef mince

-200g white button mushrooms, finely diced

-1 small brown onion, finely diced chopped

-1/2 cup breadcrumbs

-1 tsp cayenne pepper

-2 eggs

-3 large garlic cloves, finely diced

-1 tag ginger, grated (or 1 tsp minced ginger)

-1/2 cup coriander, chopped

-1/4 cup spring onion, chopped

-1 tsp ground cumin

-1 tsp ground coriander

-1 tsp ground garam masala

To make the sauce:

-1 tbsp ground cumin

-1 tbsp ground coriander

-1 tbsp ground garam masala

-1 tsp ground turmeric

-1 tbsp paprika

-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

-2 tbsp freshly chopped ginger

-5 garlic cloves, sliced

-1 red onion, sliced

-150g butter

-500ml tomato passata

-1 bunch coriander, roughly chopped

-1 cup of cream

-1/2 cup water

-2 spring onions, sliced

-Salt & pepper

To serve:

-1 lime, juiced

-Papadums

-Plain yoghurt

Method

1. To make the koftas, place all of the meatball ingredients into a large bowl and use your hands to combine. Roll palm sized balls, around 3-4cm in diameter, and set aside.

2. In a large hot pan over medium-high heat, add a dash of extra virgin olive oil and sear balls, rotating on each side until they are golden brown. Remove and set aside.

3. In the same pan, sauté the garlic, ginger and onions until translucent, and add the remaining spice mix, mixing just for minute or so to awaken their aroma. Stir in three-quarters of the butter, being careful not to burn it.

4. Pour in the passata and two-thirds of the cream, and half the coriander. Stir to combine.

5. Add the kofta balls back to the sauce, cover with the lid and turn down to low heat to simmer for 25-30 minutes. Add a little water if needed.

6. Before serving stir through remaining coriander, spring onions, remaining butter and remaining cream.

7. Serve with plain yoghurt, a squeeze of lime and papadums.

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