Courtney Thorne-Smith’s Spicy Beef

Spicy Beef

The past few days have been crazy.  For the first time in ages I actually had someone stop over unexpectedly and was embarrassed as I was making dinner that just about half of the  pans in my house still needed to be hand washed and the Sunday paper was still strewn across the living room.  We had such a great, busy weekend that when we got to Sunday night it was an “Awe, just leave the pans until tomorrow morning and I will take care of them.”

Well, Monday rolled around and life got really busy again with a tennis lesson, cello lesson, two summer library programs to attend and groceries to buy.  Needless to say those dishes didn’t get washed until late last night. So, yes I have those days or weeks just like everyone else.   And plans change, last night this dinner that was supposed to be a fancy hamburger that turned into something completely different because I needed to do something quickly that would allow me some extra time to clean up from the weekend.

I was stuck on what to make for dinner last night when a quick glance through Pinterest brought me to this recipe.  I found this recipe from Martha Stewart’s magazine for Courtney’s Spicy Beef on     I wasn’t sure how it would be as my family likes spicy but not SPICY!


My family really liked this dish.  It was voted a do-over by everyone.  I served it with humus, Naan and tzatziki to take the edge off the spiciness.  Then a side of cut up red peppers, tomatoes and carrots for crunch and dipping.  For my mostly GF son he had a homemade pizza crust in the freezer that we brushed with olive oil and added a bit of powdered garlic sprinkled over the top before partially baking to keep it soft that he used instead of Naan.  When that ran out he used Glutino’s Table Crackers for dipping.

This dish did  have a bit of an after bite but was not too strong.  I did alter the original recipe in that we did not have sambal oelek (a spicy chili sauce), nor would I even know where to buy it around here.   After some research I altered the recipe to add red pepper flakes and vinegar which most people said was the closest substitution.


  • 2 large white onions, finely diced
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground smokey cumin
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds lean  ground beef
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar


  1. Place onions and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Saute onions until they begin to turn translucent.
  2. Add garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin and tumeric to the pan.  Stir well and saute for about a minute until they become very fragrant.
  3. Add ground beef, salt and pepper to the pan. Break the ground beef into small bits with the back of a spoon as it is cooking.
  4. Once ground beef is cooked through drain off fat and return pan to heat.
  5. Add red pepper flakes and vinegar to pan.  Stir for 1 minute before serving.



One Comment Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.