Saturday, 27 September 2014

Beef Curry

Now that the children are both back at school, and their activities are kicking in, the crock pot is going to become an essential piece of equipment in the kitchen. We don't seem to have a single evening when there isn't something happening - basketball, guitar, piano, musical society, parents' association....

This was particularly true this week, with both hubbie and me very busy at work, and we had to plan well all week. On Tuesday evening, I prepared this beef curry, which cooked away all day Wednesday and was ready for Wednesday evening, when hubbie got home late and Ms Fussy Eater got back from basketball training.

Slow cooker beef curry
Beef curry with rice
I had some prepared beef (about 650g) and was wondering what to do with it. I was trying to choose from the Slow Cooking Properly Explained recipe book, between a beef curry and beef in barbecue sauce. So, I asked Mr Teenager what he'd prefer. He managed to look up from his laptop long enough to say "curry", and so the decision was made.





First, mix together 2tbsp flour, 1tbsp curry powder (I used hot), 1tsp each ground cumin, turmeric and ginger, and a pinch of salt. Then toss the prepared beef in the mixture to coat.

I heated 1tbsp olive oil in a pan and fried a chopped onion and crushed garlic clove until soft, then added the beef and browned it all over. I put the onion and beef mix into the crock pot, with any remaining flour and spice mix.

Added to the beef is: 150ml beef stock, 400g chopped tomatoes, 2tbsp mango chutney, dash of Tabasco, 1tbsp lemon juice and 2 apples, chopped.

The recipe calls for cooking apples, but I used eaters from the garden. The recipe also uses 25g sultanas and 25g cashew nuts - but we have nut allergies in the house, and nobody except me would eat the sultanas. So, I left them out.

I left the crock pot in the fridge overnight (while the flavours developed) and next morning left it to cook on low for about 10 hours.

The Result

The smell in the house that evening was amazing. The recipe produced a beautifully rich curry with a thick tomato sauce. There was no evidence of the apples at all (which is just as well, because Ms Fussy Eater would spend her time picking them out of the sauce) and the curry had a lovely, gently sweet flavour. I expected it to be hotter, since I'd used hot curry powder, but it was actually just nicely spicey. Next time, I might add more curry powder. We ate it with rice and it really was a lovely meal.

The Verdict

Mr Teenager certainly enjoyed it, declaring it to be delicious. Ms Fussy Eater was tired after 90 minutes of basketball training, but she had a small helping and pushed her rice around the plate a little bit. She was heard to say that it was "quite nice" which is high praise. There was no evidence of vegetables in the meal, which is always a plus, for her.

This was definitely a success and could well become a regular on our menu.

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