Ground Be’f Filling

This savory and spicy be’f dish acts a replacement for minced beef while bringing similar flavors and richness to be combine with other dishes.

Total Cooking Time:

Pie and Tacos often used a ground beef mixture at their filling or case. But, as someone who cannot eat meat, I don’t like how this works. So, I decided I would take the recipe into my own hands and make it vegetarian friendly. Now that I think about it, I pretty sure that this recipe is Vegan friendly as well. This is one of my new favorite dishes, it’s fully of flavor and creates a moist and tender meant base which is absolutely irresistible.


There are quite a few ingredients that go with this recipe. I went to Stacey’s recipe from the Great British Bake Off for inspiration. From her recipe, I grabbed the idea of pine nuts, onion, cinnamon, ground allspice, and red chili flake. Of course, there was salt and pepper to taste. For my modifications, I added a beef substitute, cumin powder, vegetable stock, and tomato paste.



Pre-Cooked Ingredients

There are two ingredients that I cooked before doing the main dish. This was because I wanted to have the fully cooked and I didn’t think that would be accomplished in a giant pan of “meat”. The first ingredient I cooked was the pine nuts. This was more a dry roasting to get some color on the nuts. They’re so pale! After they were perfect, I set them aside.

The next ingredient that gets some ahead of time cooking is the onion. For this, I diced the onion and then sautéed it in some of the sunflower oil.  I let them cook on low for a long time to give them a soft texture. I really wanted to make them soft and golden. After that, I transferred them into a heatproof dish as I wanted to reuse the big pan for doing some big cooking.


Throwing Everything into a Pot

I started by adding the remaining sunflower oil and putting all of the ground be’f into the pan. I had given the “meat” a decent amount of time to defrost but it looks like that still wasn’t enough! So, there was still a little icy water residue on the “meat”. I cooked it over a medium to high heat to get a good heat running through the dish. I wanted to get a light brown on it but it’s hard to see since the meat is effectively just frozen and not raw.

The next thing to get mixed in was the spices. Sometimes I follow the recipe. Sometimes I eyeball the ingredients and just assume it will go okay. This is very much the later situation. And I added way too much chili powder. In the original recipe, there was no cumin, but I needed it in order to cut the spice. I legit almost started crying (I know, I can’t handle spice. I’m a terrible Indian). I kind of loved the new taste because it felt like I was eating Keema (or Kheema, however you prefer to spell it). It’s a dish I haven’t been able to eat since I went vegetarian 17 years ago. It was weirdly nostalgic in a way.

The next thing to go into the pan was the tomato past and the cooked onion. I stirred everything in to get it nice and evenly distributed. At this point, I should mention that the meat substitute doesn’t act like meat in terms of moisture. The dish felt almost dry. So here is another are where I had to go off script. Instead of adding a ½ cup of stock, I ended up adding 2 cups. This was really to add some moisture back into the dish and help soften the “meat” to become nice and tender. I let the vegetable stock come to a boil before reducing the heat to low and allowing the dish to simmer. The “meat” really absorbed the stock during this process so much so that I didn’t really have much left to evaporate.

The final touch was stirring in the pine nuts! And it’s ready for eating. This dish could be used for many things, but I used it as my filling for a shortcrust savory pie.


This really has become a nostalgic dish for me. I haven’t been able to eat Keema in years and years and I really enjoyed having that taste again. While I was changing a lot of the original recipe on the fly, it turned out amazingly well. This is definitely a dish that I will revisit in the future because I’m honestly hungry for more.


The Difference in Oils

Type of OilSmoking PointBest ForNotes
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil320°FDrizzling, Salad Dressing, DipsFlavor ranges between buttery, fruity, earthy, or bitter
Olive Oil465°FSauteing, pan-frying, salad dressingsNeutral nose and palate
Coconut Oil359°FBaking, Low heat roasting or sauteingGood substitute for butter in baking
Sesame Oil410°FSauteing or pickled saladsNutty taste, strong in flavor
Peanut Oil440°FSauteing, Pan-fryingStrong peanut taste
Vegetable/ Canola/ Corn Oil450°FFrying, Deep FryingNo flavor
Grapeseed Oil420°FEmulsified recipes, low-heat sauteingGood for making sauces, dressing, and mayonnaise
Avacado Oil510°FGrillingButtery flavor
Sunflower/ Safflower Oil440°FFrying, Deep FryingButtery flavor


Ground Be’f Filling

This savory and spicy be’f dish acts a replacement for minced beef while bringing similar flavors and richness to be combine with other dishes.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Indian


  • Cup Pine Nuts
  • 2 Tbsp Sunflower Oil
  • 1 Onion finely chopped
  • 6 Cups Ground Be'f
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp Ground All Spice
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Red Chili Flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 2 Cup Vegetable Stock
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste


  • In a dry frying pan, over low heat, toast the pine nuts until just colored. Set aside.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a medium pan, add the chopped onion, cover and cook over low heat for about 5-10 minutes or until very soft and golden brown. Transfer to a heat-proof dish and set aside.
  • Add the reaming oil to the pan and set toa medium to high heat. Once the oil is heated, add the ground be’f and stir until lightly brown.
  • Stir in cinnamon, all-spice, chili, and cumin. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the paste and cooked onions. Stir in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce to a low heat, cover, and let simmer for about 10-15 minute or until the meat is soft.
  • Uncover and cook until the liquid has almost evaporated. Stir in pine nuts.
  • Enjoy!!
Keyword Be’f, filling

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