First class beef curry
- September 2015
- Serves 4
- Hands-on time 45, simmering time 3 hrs
Food writer and cook Ivor Peters shares his grandfather’s recipe for this first class beef curry. The aromas of cinnamon and cardamom conjure nostalgic memories of his childhood.
Looking for something quicker? Our beef and sweet potato curry is easy to prepare and ready in just over an hour.
- 26.7g (7.4g saturated)
- 14.1g (7.7g sugars)
- 4 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 medium onions, sliced
- 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 8 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 green finger chillies, sliced
- 6 black cardamom pods (available from supermarkets and specialist shops)
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 tsp cloves
- 1kg diced British stewing beef
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp medium curry powder
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- Handful fresh coriander leaves, lime wedges and chapatis to serve (optional)
- Heat the oil in a large heavy- based saucepan with a lid over a medium heat. Add the onions and brown thoroughly, stirring, until the edges start to caramelise (about 8-10 minutes). Spoon in the ginger and garlic, quickly followed by the cinnamon stick, chillies, cardamom, peppercorns and cloves. Add 100ml cold water and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, allowing the spices to combine and scent the pan.
- Season the beef, turn the heat up high, then add to the pan and brown thoroughly, coating the meat in the spice base. Cover and cook over a low heat for 45 minutes or until it looks jammy and slightly dry around the edges. It should take on the colour of dark chocolate.
- Add the tinned tomatoes, curry powder, ground coriander and garam masala along with 500ml water. Season with salt, stir, then cover and cook for another 30 minutes over a very low heat. The secret to this dish is slow cooking for that tear-apart tender texture.
- Uncover and cook for a further 1 hour 30 minutes over a low- medium heat. By now the beef will yield under a little pressure (see tip). Scatter with coriander, squeeze over lime juice and serve with chapatis, if you like.
Depending on the fat content of the beef you use (fattier meat will soften more quickly), it may take a little longer than the recipe specifies to become fall-apart tender. Try it after the given time then, if it needs longer, partially cover it and keep cooking over a low heat for 30-40 minutes.
Make the curry up to 48 hours in advance and keep in a sealed container in the fridge. Or freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw if frozen, then reheat until piping hot before serving.
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