Spicy Beef Lettuce Wraps Recipe

Well okay, he has cooled down from being a fiery TV culinary expert, but Gordon Ramsay has made an enormous impact on my cooking. I cannot imagine the pressure of working in a Micheline Star restaurant under a deafening, angry and stressed Head Chef but the milder side of Chef Ramsay's personality is clear in the Ultimate Cookery Course, where he highlights his affection for the straightforward homemade meals that he makes.

In one of the Ultimate Cookery Course episodes, was this sweet and spicy dish which left me with one thought - get into my kitchen and give it a try.

There are a lot of elements in this Asian style dish and, when combined, the aromas alone are spectacular.  The flavours fresh and hot, sweet and spicy, fresh and tangy will all electrify the taste buds of any food lover.

Preparation Time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 (3 chilli wraps per serving)

12 leaves of iceberg lettuce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
1 onion, diced
500g ground beef 
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp hoisin sauce
1-2 tbsp chilli sauce
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 tbsp honey
4 spring onions, chopped

For the dressing:
1 tbsp soy sauce
juice 1/2 lime
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 red chilli, thinly sliced
small handful of coriander leaves, chopped
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp olive oil

1. Rinse the lettuce leaves and pat dry, being careful not to tear them and set aside.

2. In a large non-stick pan, heat the 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil over a high heat.  Add red pepper and onion and cook for about 3 minutes.  Add the ground beef and cook for a further 5 minutes, breaking up with a wooden spoon.  Drain the cooked beef in a sieve and set aside.

3. Return pan to cooker, add the second tablespoon of oil and season with the salt and pepper.

4. Stir in the garlic, soy sauce, hoisin and chilli sauces, ginger, rice wine vinegar and honey.  Cook until sauce has thickened, 3-4 minutes and then stir in the chopped spring onions.  Ad the drained beef and mix well.

5. Mix all of the dressing ingredients together.

6. Spoon some of the beef mixture into the lettuce leaves and drizzle each serving with a little dressing.