You know, Christmas comes the same time every year. Yet every year I find myself in full scramble to get it all done. I swear I will start in September. Unfortunately good intentions are not a guarantee!
I should finish the gifts I’m making today and get everything wrapped and under the tree. Then there is the dump run and grocery shopping. But I should have plenty of time tomorrow to decorate the Christmas cake.
My husband had to do a business trip last week. Luckily it was only four days rather than the two weeks last December but I still wanted to make a nice home cooked dinner for him.
I was in the mood for curry and thought I’d try beef vindaloo. Beef you say? There are areas in West India that have Muslim and Christian communities that eat beef and add in the fabulous flavours you find in India, amazing dishes happen.
Vindaloo has it’s roots in Portugal and was originally based in wine and garlic but gradually evolved to have vinegar instead of wine. When a lot of people hear vindaloo they think off the charts for spicy food but that isn’t always the case. I didn’t make this crazy spicy but you can if you add more hot pepper.
I adapted a recipe from the Best-Ever Curry cookbook. I used ground cumin instead of the seeds and I could have sworn we had fenugreek but nope so I had to leave that out. The recipe did call for a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds. To be honest I didn’t miss it.
In a spice grinder, grind up 3-4 chili peppers or hot peppers of your choice, 1 teaspoon of black peppercorn, 5 green cardamon pods, and 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds.
In a small bowl add the spice mix, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, and 4 tablespoons of white vinegar.
Set that aside. Chop up a large red onion and saute in olive oil until softened.
In a food processor add the onions and spice mix. Process until it is a paste. In the skillet add a bit more oil and start browning stewing beef. I used just under a pound. The recipe called for two pounds. As it is browning, finely chop a couple of garlic and grate a piece of ginger about 1-2 inches square/3-4 cm square.
Cook for a couple of minutes then add the onion spice paste. In addition to that add a scant tablespoon of ground cumin, 2 teaspoons of ground coriander, and 1/2 a teaspoon of ground tumeric.
Stir well then add 300ml/1 1/4 cups of water. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer. Cook for at least an hour. You want the sauce reduced and the meat tender. My husband made naan to dip into this curry.
I was a bit worried because there was only enough for about 1/2 a cup a serving for the four of us. But with the naan we were stuffed. I love that our kids love the spicy flavours, they really liked this.