Saturday afternoons of Christmas shopping are best followed by a steaming bowl of ramen. And Sundays are, of course, perfect for succulent slow-cooked meats or buttery pies, generously filled. And my brisket and chilli ramen sorts you out for both, thanks to the masses of leftovers this recipe produces (more ideas for leftovers at the bottom of the post!).
First, though, the ramen you came here for. This brisket and chilli ramen recipe may seem complicated but it isn’t, it just has a lot of components. If you don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen, you can do the brisket and the paste in advance. I promise you, the results are well worth it.
The thick noodles bobbing in unctuous, spicy soup, topped with BBQ slow-cooked brisket are supremely comforting, while the soft green pak choi and yellow peppers teamed with crispy bean sprouts inject that fresh, healthy feeling we all know we should seek out a little more in the winter months. The addition of an almost-runny soft-boiled egg is one of the best parts for me and will help fill you up (should a mountain of beef not do the job!).
Serves 2-3 (with leftover paste and brisket)
For the brisket:
1 tsp of cumin, coriander and cayenne pepper
1 tbsp paprika
Salt and pepper
Glass of red wine
Glass and a half of beef stock
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
For the paste:
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried coriander
1 red chilli, chopped
2 green chillis, deseeded and chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2cm fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
3 sticks of lemongrass, chopped
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Sprinkle of turmeric
Splash of fish sauce
Splash of chilli oil (check out my easy peasy chilli oil recipe here!)
1 tbsp light brown sugar
For the ramen:
1 yellow pepper
2 chicken stock cubes dissolved in 2 pints of hot water
250g fresh egg noodles
Handful bean sprouts
4 pak choi leaves
1 red chilli, chopped
4 cloves garlic, sliced
Either the day before or on the morning you want to have this chilli brisket ramen, you’ll need to cook the brisket.
Rub the beef with cumin, coriander, paprika and cayenne pepper. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and leave for 30 minutes in the fridge. Then, place it in a slow cooker or casserole dish with the red wine and beef stock for 6-8 hours on a low heat. When it’s done it should fall apart easily with the prod of a fork.
While it’s still hot, put the brisket on to a chopping board and gently pull apart. Once shredded, tip into a bowl and stir through with the BBQ sauce. We love this Jamie Oliver recipe, but your favourite shop-bought sauce is fine. Leave to rest.
The next bit takes about 20 minutes, so only start once you’re ready to eat.
Add a little olive oil to a medium-hot pan and fry the onion with the black pepper, cumin and coriander for 5 minutes. You don’t want the onion to take on any colour, just soften a little.
Put the onion and spices into a blender (we used a Nutribullet), and add the chillis, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, cinnamon, turmeric, fish sauce and chilli oil. Blend until you have a smooth paste. This is the base of your ramen soup, but you’ll only need a spoonful. Keep the rest in the fridge for more ramens or curries.
Put a spoonful of the paste into a hot pan and once it starts to sizzle, pour in all of the chicken stock. Add the yellow pepper and garlic and let it cook on a medium-hot heat for 10 minutes. Taste it – if it’s a bit weak, you can add another stock cube, just make sure the soup is hot enough for it to properly dissolve.
Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to boil for the soft-boiled egg. Cook for 7 minutes and then run under the cold tap for 1 minute before peeling.
Once the soup is bubbling, add the noodles, and after 3 minutes they’ll be cooked.
Serve the noodles and soup in large bowls. Slide the pak choi leaves into the soup, which will gently cook them, and top with brisket, chopped red chilli, bean sprouts, fresh coriander, a wedge of lime and the egg.
Not sure what to do with the leftover brisket? Mix with a can of chopped tomatoes and stir through fresh pasta. Add to chilli con carne for added decadence. Team with some of the leftover paste, coconut milk and baby sweetcorn for an easy tai-inspired beef curry. Stuff into mini homemade pies with thick gravy and veggies. Pile high on toasted rye bread with lots of sauerkraut and melted Gruyere. It’ll keep in the fridge for about a week, so you’ve time!