Beef curry in a (not so) hurry

There’s something about having your entire house fill with the fumes of a delicious meal on the boil. Especially when said meal is on the boil for 5-6 hours, Happies.

It’s a slow-burn this beef curry, but well worth the wait the second you bite into melt-in-your-mouth meat and taste the punchy flavours that accompany it. Perfect for a weekend dinner party, or perfect if you have a fancy slow-cooker at home that you can switch on, leave on, and come home to. Brilliant!

This is a feast I prepared the other day, comprising of slow-cooked beef curry, sweet potato and coriander mash, eggplant side dish, and home-made peach and mango chutneys. Delicious! (sorry Mr Sweet Potato, you got cut out of the picture. Oops).

If you’re a splash in the pan kind of cook who rarely takes notice of a recipe that’s longer than 20 minutes, may I suggest giving a slow-cooked meal a go. Just once. Cooking your food on a very low heat over a longer period of time allows the flavours to develop, the meat to tenderise, the enzymes to not be completely destroyed, and the general meal to taste about 50,000 times better. Trust me.

And, if your one slow-cooked meal happens to be this one, follow these general instructions. Or improvise on your own. Whatever takes your fancy.

To feed 4 hungry mouths you’ll need…

500 grams of grass fed beef. Ask your butcher for the best cut for sloooow cooking. Chop into chunks.
2 onions finely chopped
1 piece of ginger, about the size of your thumb finely chopped
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
2 tablespoons of the followings herbs: Paprika, cumin, coriander, turmeric, curry powder
1/2 tablespoon of the following herbs: mustard seeds, cayenne pepper
1 large bunch of fresh coriander, stalks and leaf finely chopped
1 litre of stock (I used beef but vegetable will do the trick, too)
2 cardamom pods

And here’s what you need to do…

In a large pot, brown the onion, garlic and ginger until transparent on a medium to high heat. Add your meat to seal in the flavours. Now, throw in all those dried herbs and stir so that the beef, onions, garlic and ginger are coated in herby goodness. Once that’s done, pour your stock into the pot, making sure it just covers the meat, and turn the heat right down to low. Throw in the coriander stalks (not the leaves just yet) and leave uncovered to cook for the next few hours. If you put the lid on the pot it won’t reduce to that beautiful rich consistency.

Once your curry is on, you can start preparing the other dishes that work so beautifully with this feast. The chutneys were done another day, so let’s keep them as a separate addition and, for today’s sake, pretend they’re from a bottle. Instead, I’ll talk you through the eggplant side-dish, simple green salad and sweet potato mash. Hmmmm!

For the eggplant dish you will need…

4 eggplants – of the long, skinny variety cut into sticks, rather than circles
2 onions cut into medium sized pieces
1 bunch of fresh parsley
ceyenne pepper to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tablespoon of paprika, coriander and cumin

Once you’ve chopped your onion and your eggplant, simply throw them in a fry pan with some safflower or rice bran oil and fry on medium to high heat. Add your spices early on in the piece, as well as your salt and pepper to taste. Once the eggplant and onion are nicely brown and softened, take off the heat, throw in a bowl, and sprinkle with lots of freshly cut parsley.

For the mashed sweet potato you’ll need…

3 sweet potatoes – PEELED
ceyenne pepper to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon of paprika
2 good glugs of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 bunch coriander

Simply boil your sweet potatoes until incredibly soft and then strain. Let cool for a few minutes (gosh, you’ve got time with the curry on the heat for 5 hours) before mashing them with a hand-held blender. As you’re blending, add the salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and paprika into the mix and blend well. Scoop mixture into a serving bowl, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, hemp oil, or coconut oil and dress up with coriander. Yummm!

And finally, to really finish off the feast, serve with a simple green salad of lettuce, spinach, sprouts and a honey, curry powder and extra virgin olive oil dressing.

Once the table is set and the extra additions are all done, take a good look at your curry. After 5-6 hours on really low heat it should be quite thick and taste like a dream. The meat should fall away and be super tender, and your mouth should be watering right about…NOW! Whip it off the stove, pop it in a fancy bowl, garnish with parsley and coriander, or whatever you have floating around, and you’re done. Gosh, what are you waiting for, dig in Happies. DIG IN!

Tell me…

Are you a slow food nut, too?

Do you like the sound of this recipe?

What’s your favourite curry recipe?



  1. Anonymous · August 4, 2011

    All I can say is YUM! thank you so much for sharing the recipe. I love meals which have different components to them, it makes eating so exciting.

    Slow food is amazing, so good for you and so delicious. I also know ‘slow eating’ is just as good for you – which is hard with todays pace of lifestyles – do you have any tips on teaching oneself to slow down and savour you food?

  2. hotshot bald cop · August 30, 2011

    My ideas precisely!

  3. Pingback: A Day In The Life Of…Yaz’s Tummy | The Happiness Cocktail

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