450g Topside of beef joint or diced beef
(Topside is cheaper per kg than diced beef)
2 tablspoons white flour
3 cloves garlic
150ml cooking oil
150g bacon lardons
I tablespoon Madras curry paste
I tin plum tomatoes
Salt and pepper
250g chestnut mushrooms
1 green chilli
Bunch fresh coriander
I tablespoon mango chutney
I eating apple
Prep to Cook: Large cast iron casserole dish (or similar), plate, large polythene bag, tablespoon, veg knife, chopping board, French cooks knife ( to dice Topside of beef)
Prep: 1. Prep the meat:
Remove any string from the rolled beef joint, and take off the fat layer
Put flour and salt and black pepper in the polythene bag
Cut the meat into large chunks (or open ready-cubed beef) and add to the polythene bag to coat the meat pieces in seasoned flour
Heat half the oil in a deep-sided pan and fry half the meat quickly to brown it
Remove the meat chucks into another pan
Add more oil and fry the second batch of meat then remove all the beef chunks
2. Prep the onions and veg:
Peel the onion and cut in half, then slice each half into 6 slices
Slice chilli in half and scrape out the seeds with a teaspoon (take care – do not put fingers near your eyes or face because the chilli will burn
Dust the mushrooms and cut each mushroom in half
Cut the apple in half and then half again. Remove the core and dice each quarter
3. Prep the curry:
Fry the onions and bacon lardons in the meat pan until light golden
Stir in the madras curry paste and the diced chilli, allow to frizzle
Add the plum tomatoes and juice and ½ a can of water
Add the apple and mushrooms to the pan
4. Prep the cook:
Stir well and cover the pan.
Simmer on a low light on the hob for an hour, stirring occasionally OR
Place the whole casserole dish into the oven on 190 C Gas Mark 5
Cook for at least 1 hour to 1hour 30 mins.
Stir and check: if the juice is too thin for you cook for 15 minutes without the lid to reduce the stock
Before you serve the curry chop the coriander leaves and stir them in.
Beef Madras curry is a robust dish due to the chunks of beef that are used. The flavours improve on keeping so it is a good recipe to cook ahead the day before you need it. Make it when you feel organised as it takes time to prepare the meat and the vegetable but the end result is well worth the attention to detail.
Always fry off the meat in very hot fat to begin with to keep the meat chunks really juicy
You can add other vegetables such as red peppers or drained tinned chick peas to make the curry go further. Red meat supplies protein and iron in the diet.
Cooks Know How: You will deal with handling big chunks of meat or ready cut cubes. This is a bit scary for the first time so popping it into a polythene bag is a nice clean way to coat all the meat in seasoned flour. It will seem better to work with once it has been coated. You will see how sealing the meat is worth it and it only keeps hot enough to seal if you do half at a time – once juices come out from the meat and you see boiling you need to stop. You will understand the wonderful marriage of flavours that come from spices, onions chilli and meat and how mushrooms enrich the colour and fill out the ‘pot.’ You will see the value of long slow cooking to allow the meat to tenderise gently. The meat fibres shrink and become tender when cooked with all the moisture. The meat is safe to eat and will keep for up to 3 days once cooked in the refrigerator. Some people think the flavour of a curry is improved if it is kept for a day after cooking and then reheated thoroughly.
Try cubed lamb instead of the beef it works a treat. Probably the cubes of lamb will be shoulder meat and the extra fat in it picks up the spices. Also you could add a handful of raisins to bring out the sweetness of the meat.