This is an upgraded version of a dish my family eats all the time. I first discovered the amazing combination of two simple ingredients, when put together are magical, at an Italian Club potluck.
At first I was put off.Who brings a ground beef dish to a potluck, if you’re Italian.
No one. Unless it’s meatballs. But, there sat this little dish of ground beef, onion and peas, and after my first bite, I nearly ate it all. I think went back three times, while Pasta and bread were flying into the mouths of the Italian Americans.
I was criticized recently of stereotyping Americans interpreting Italian food, but non-Italians should take heart, as we Italians are most critical of each other.
Now perhaps that’s a stereotype, but it is what it is. We all know your Italian family makes the best sauce. And your Aunt Carmella makes the best eggplant and my Aunt Rita makes the best stuffed shells. I even take pride in saying no one beats Retro Rose’s Southern Fried Chicken anywhere and I’ll smack down anyone’s Southern biscuits. But, the most trouble is in the Italian food. My grandmother had issues with certain regions of Italy. Their sauce was inferior to her mothers, etc., and there were would be these funny stories about entire villages in Italy that only thought they could cook!
I think we are born this way. Try to imagine the thoughts going round the room in that Italian Club pot luck. You better believe they were summing up each dish, all the while enjoying the food with gusto. I was drawn to the most humble dish in the room, because it was different and just delicious.
I’ve written about that dish here, which is still one of the all time most popular dishes. It’s simple. Olive oil. Onions. Ground Beef. Red Chile Pepper. A few herbs.
Today, I made exciting changes. I added kale, and I added milk to the ground beef. Grass milk with grass fed beef. It’s a healthy dish, and it’s in keeping with my commitment to the primal blueprint, an offshoot of the paleo diet.
Whether you eat for health or eat to eat, you can’t go wrong with Italian style ground beef with pancetta, kale, and peas. It’s affordable, delicious and takes about twenty minutes in total. Now that’s reason enough to pin this one.
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup diced pancetta
- 1 pound grass fed ground beef
- ¼ cup organic milk
- 1 cup peas
- fresh thyme
- 1 bunch lacinato kale
- 1 tomato, or a handful of small cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon cracked chili pepper
- Prepare kale: Wash, rinse, cut out the ribs and chop into bite sized pieces. Set aside.
- Heat oil in pan. Add in onions and pancetta and cook until softened.
- Add in ground beef over top of onions. Pour milk over ground beef. Salt ground beef.
- Stir together. Milk will make it slightly cream and adds nice texture
- Continue to stir frequently until ground beef is cooked.
- Add frozen peas and stir until peas or cooked, which only takes a few minutes.
- Add fresh thyme and chopped kale until kale is softened.
- Turn off heat. add in some fresh tomato or tomato grapes. Serve immediately.