I am such a fan of Thai curry, that I don’t often (enough) think to make any other kind. I really do enjoy an Indian-inspired curry though, especially beef and especially on a cold, Winter day.
This warm-spiced beef curry cooks up beef that is fork-tender, with a lovely sauce, full of warm spices like ginger, cinnamon, clove and bay. The sauce also has tomatoes and coconut milk. Although it has coconut milk in it (optional, you can use regular milk), it isn’t predominant, like in a Thai curry. It is also mildly curry spiced, which is how I prefer my curries. It is a great dish to adjust to your taste though, by adding more or less of any of the spices or chutney (or up the crushed red pepper, if you’d like a bit more heat). Any way you make it, this is a warm and comforting dish.
I love this on the weekend, when I can start it in the early afternoon and then let it cook away on the stove-top until dinner. Then there’s just the rice and a veg to make later on. I love brown Basmati rice with this curry. I think you could very easily make in a slow-cooker as well. I’d just brown the meat separately, then throw it into the cooker with the sauce ingredients and let cook away. Take the lid off and simmer for a bit at the end, if needed to thicken the sauce a bit.
Warm Spiced Beef Curry with Rice
Summary: This is a lovely beef curry. The beef cooks up fork-tender and the warm spices like ginger, cinnamon and bay are mild, but blend together well. This is a great dish for tweaking to your tastes, by adding a bit more or less of the spices. I tend to drain the tomatoes and use beef broth for liquid, if I have some handy.
- 2 lbs. well-trimmed, boneless stewing beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 large onions, sliced
- 6 whole cloves (can use ground – about 1/2 tsp.)
- 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 cinnamon sticks (or 1 tsp. ground cinnamon)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk (or whole milk)
- 1 28-oz. can whole, peeled tomatoes, with juice (or drained and use 1 cup-ish beef broth instead of the tomato juices)
- 3 Tbsp. Major Grey chutney
- 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger (could use ground – about 1/4 tsp.)
- 2-3 tsp. mild curry powder (start with 2 and work your way up, if needed)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Hot cooked rice
- Pat beef dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a heavy, large pot over medium-high heat, heat 2 Tbsp. of the oil. Add about 1/3 of the meat to the pan (*to get a good browning on your meat, don’t crowd your pan. There should be space around each piece). Brown the meat on all sides and remove to a plate, repeating with 2 more batches, about 5 minutes per batch.
- Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in the same pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until tender and brown, about 7 minutes.
- Return beef to pot. Add the cloves, garlic, cinnamon sticks, bay leaf and dried red pepper to pot. Stir for 1 minute to combine and release the flavours from the spices. Stir in the coconut milk, tomatoes, chutney, lemon juice, ginger, curry powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer on low heat, until beef is tender, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours.
- Once meat is tender, uncover, increase heat to medium-low and allow to simmer, uncovered until the juices are thickened thickened. Taste and adjust seasonings to taste (you might want to add a bit more salt, some freshly ground pepper and/or a bit more curry powder or other spice, to taste).
- Serve over rice.
Prep time: 20 min | Cook time: 3 hours | Total time: 3 hours 30 min
Number of servings (yield): 6
Adapted from a Bon Apetit November 2000 recipe