Well-browned ground beef and Sam’s leftover vegan bean and mango salsa was transformed into this beef and bean salad. You eat a bowl of this salad and there won’t be any space left in your tummy for anything else. Well, except for coffee perhaps to end the meal.
The first component — the salsa — benefits from sitting in the fridge overnight. There are so many flavors — tangy, spicy, sweet and salty — that need to blend together. And that takes time.
When you’re ready to serve the beef and bean salad, just take the salsa out of the fridge and let it warm to room temperature while you brown the beef in a very hot pan.
After that, all you need to do is spoon a generous amount of salsa into a bowl, top it with a generous amount of browned beef still glistening with its own fat, drizzle everything with mayo and dig in. On the side, you can add tortilla chips. A flatbread like pita will be good too.
Some tips… You can use dried beans and cook it yourself. You’ll need to soak it in water for several hours before cooking. Then it’ll take a few hours of slow cooking for the beans to become tender. I usually do this overnight in the slow cooker. If you want the short cut (and it isn’t a bad short cut at all), use canned beans. Just drain them well and they’re ready to go into the salsa.
As for the chilies… There are, of course, several varieties. Which variety you use will affect the heat level of the salsa. I used finger chilies which are quite mild. If you’re using something hotter, like bird’s eye chilies, you may need to use less than the two to three tablespoonfuls recommended in the recipe. Well, unless your tolerance to hot food is really, really high.
Beef and Bean Salad
- 1 cup cooked beans (any kind), well drained
- 3/4 cup roughly chopped ripe sweet mangoes
- 3/4 cup roughly chopped tomatoes
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped onion
- 2 to 3 tablespoons finely sliced chilies
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic divided
- lemon or lime juice to taste
- salt to taste
- 500 grams ground fatty beef
- snipped parsley
- Make the salsa. Place the beans, mangoes, tomatoes, onion, chilies and half of the garlic in a bowl.
- Drizzle in lemon or lime juice.
- Add salt and pepper.
- Taste. Adjust the seasonings, if needed.
- Cover the bowl and chill for several hours, preferably overnight.
- About ten minutes before you intend to serve the salad, take the salsa out of the fridge.
- Heat a heavy skillet (non-stick works best).
- Spread the ground beef on the bottom of the skillet. Cook over high heat for about two minutes. Add the remaining garlic. Sprinkle in salt and pepper.
- Continue cooking for about five minutes, stirring occasionally, until the beef is browned and has rendered all its fat. Turn off the heat. The beef will continue to brown in the residual heat.
- Assemble the beef and bean salad. Divide the salsa among thee bowls. Top each with a third of the beef (you can leave the rendered fat in the skillet). Drizzle with mayonnaise. Sprinkle in snipped parsley.
- Serve the beef and bean salad with tortilla chips or toasted bread.