But misunderstanding of South Asian spices aside, this beef stew a la curry is the perfect cold weather dish.
The heat from the spices warms the body but the fresh mangoes and pistachio are reminders of tropical summers. The golden raisins cut down the acidity of the yogurt. The richly colored sauce calls you to drizzle a hefty amount over your rice. If you’d rather enjoy the dish with bread, you’d really want to mop the sauce with pieces of bread until your bowl is quite dry.
Yes, it’s a beautiful dish. And you don’t need a ton of spices to make it. The flavor base is sauteed onion, garlic and ginger to which cayenne, paprika and turmeric are added.
For those of you looking for a new way to serve stew over the holidays, look no farther. You found it and I assure you that it won’t disappoint.
A few notes… First, does it have to be beef short ribs? No. Brisket and neck will do just as well. Just make sure you get stewing beef, the kind that takes slow and long cooking, for best results.
Second, does it even have to be beef at all? Well, it is beef stew, after all, so beef is the main ingredient. But the beef stew a la curry recipe can be transformed into lamb stew a la curry or even chicken stew a la curry.
Beef Stew a la Curry
- 1.5 kilograms stewing beef (short ribs, brisket or neck are recommended)
- 1 large onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 one-inch knobs ginger
- 1/4 cup olive oil (not extra virgin)
- 1.5 teaspoons cayenne
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 1.5 teaspoons paprika
- 6 cups plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup chopped pistachio nuts
- 2 bell peppers
- 2 fresh ripe mangoes
Rinse the beef and wipe dry with a kitchen towel. Cut into two-inch cubes.
Peel the onion and roughly chop.
Peel the garlic cloves and smash.
Peel the ginger and finely chop.
Heat the olive oil in a wide pan.
Spread the beef cubes on the bottom of the pan and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
Brown the beef cubes in the oil, in batches if necessary, turning the pieces over for even coloring. Scoop out the browned beef cubes and set aside.
In the remaining oil in the pan, saute the onion, garlic and ginger until softened. Remember to scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen browned bits stuck to the bottom.
Add the cayenne, turmeric, paprika and two generous pinches of salt, and continue sauteeing until fragrant.
Return the beef cubes to the pan, add the golden raisins and stir.
Pour in the yogurt and bring to a gentle boil. Cover the pan, set the heat to the lowest setting and cook the beef for about two hours or until fork tender. The actual cooking time depends on the cut and quality of the beef.
Stir occasionally and scrape the bottom of the pan to make sure there is no scorching. If the liquid dries up during cooking, add half a cup of water (bone broth is a better choice if you have some), stir and continue simmering. Repeat if the beef takes longer to cook.
Taste the sauce occasionally as well and add more salt, if needed.
While the beef simmers, Deseed the bell peppers and dice. Stir into the stew after the beef has been simmering for about an hour and a half.
Toast the pistachio in an oil-free pan. Set aside to cool.
Cut the mangoes, discard the stones and dice the flesh.
When the beef is tender, stir in the diced mangoes and simmer for another five minutes.
Sprinkle the pistachio over the stew before serving.