Francis Xavier Holden presents: Red Meat Curry

Even though it’s spring time and the salads are getting a flogging and the BBQ is all cleaned up ready to rock and roll the nights are still cool enough to allow for the odd curry or soup or other winterish type dish – before we pack away the casserole pot for another 6 months.

It was 16 degrees this arvo when I decided “Bugger it – I’ll do my Red Meat Curry”. So off to Box Hill market I went. The kilo of rump already chopped was $9.90. It was chopped a bit smallish for me – I like bigger chunks in this dish but it would save me the slicing when I got home. I bought it from the Italian guys down the end as I don’t reckon the Asian butchers have got the beef under control. Worse with the lamb – I reckon the Asian guys don’t know anything about lamb and I suspect they don’t even like it. When it comes to pork and especially belly pork I head straight to the Asian guys. But tonight it’s Red Meat Curry. I have tried lamb as a substitute for this dish and it works ok. But beef is better.

Setup: Usually I would put Dr John Naw’lins on the speakers up loud while I’m cooking but tonight it was PM on Radio National.

Four medium brown onions roughly chopped.
Melt them down in a big pan on top of stove – a bit of brown don’t hurt just don’t burn them. When they are melted down a fair bit throw in about four good cloves of chopped garlic and a whole lot of chopped ginger. Continue to melt down for a while.

Have ready on a plate the spices:
2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 teaspoons of turmeric
1 teaspoon of chilli powder
12 curry leaves
1 teaspoon of ground black pepper

Throw all these spices in the large saucepan on medium high heat and stir to brown off onions and melt them and toast up the spices and mix them.

When ready shovel out onto a plate and wait.

Slop more oil in the saucepan. I use Rice Bran Oil . Until exactly 5 minutes ago I thought it was healthier than Peanut Oil – now I’m not so sure. Get the oil hot – drop in half the red meat – not too much or it will stew. We are seeking to brown it here. Brown it. Then tip that half out on plate and brown other half.

Meanwhile you will have been warming the casserole bowl in the oven at around 220 degrees.

Throw meat and onions and spices into casserole and place in warm oven.

Get a large tin of Coles brand diced Italian tomatoes and open it up. Pour it into the saucepan used to brown the meat and smoke the spices. Deglaze the bowl and heat tomatoes. Grab about half a beef stock packet – I usually have half ones frozen in the freezer – and plonk it in the mélange. It’s not strictly Gunga Din but I like to splash a bit of salt in at this point. Depending on your tendencies you might like to chuck in a dollop or two of tomato paste – I don’t.

Slop a small amount of water in. Then pour it into the casserole dish what has the meat in it. Then whack it in the oven somewhere above 220C for two hours. Give it a stir every now and again.

I hardly need to tell you that this is best cooked slow and then left overnight before eating. That will make it taste mature and well integrated. But if your ungrateful unwashed unfed are like mine hanging around the kitchen saying “When’s it ready” then, like me, you will roll your eyes heavenward and sigh and you’ll serve it up on the night it’s cooked too.

OK. It goes with basmati rice. Plonk a measure for each person in the rice cooker and 1.5 of water for each measure. Sometimes I put frozen peas or sultanas in the rice mix prior to cooking. Squeeze a lemon into the rice cooker.

Ok it’s ready. Rice on plates with meat curry alongside it – not slopped on top please, some Patak’s Lime Chilli Pickle on each plate, a big drop of ordinary mild chutney on each plate as well and a big dollop of fresh Greek yoghurt. Or you can plonk it all on the table in separate serving bowls and yell out “It’s ready”.

All that’s needed is a fork and mouth.

15 comments ↓

#1 Introducing FX Holden | Progressive Dinner Party on 04.11.08 at 1:52 pm

[...] ← Francis Xavier Holden presents: Red Meat Curry [...]

#2 harry on 04.11.08 at 4:56 pm

“Deglaze the bowl..”
# I’d love to, but how?

“…and plonk it in the mélange.”
# I only have a gazebo. Could I put it in that?

#3 Zoe on 04.11.08 at 6:32 pm

I reckon the Asian guys don’t know anything about lamb and I suspect they don’t even like it.

From Fuchsia Dunlop’s Sichuan Cookery:

Another concept crucial to understanding Chinese cookery is that of dispelling rankness and unpleasant odour, which are known collectively as yi wie (‘peculiar smells’), and more specifically as xing wei (‘fishy odours’), sao wei (‘foul odours’) and shan wei (‘muttony odours’).”

So yeah, muttony odours dude. Although the far western Chinese are keen on lamb.

As for the rice bran oil – FX thought that it didn’t have trans fats, and that peanut oil did. I’ve no idea, although peanut oil makes the grade at nutrition and food blog Limes and Lycopene.

#4 Dr Sista Outlaw on 04.11.08 at 9:44 pm

Can I just say this is the yummiest curry recipe I have heard for a long while, irrespective of the variety of red meat, and that I applaud your choice of condiments *claps, invites self around to dinner*

#5 Dr Sista Outlaw on 04.11.08 at 9:50 pm

And after I have invited myself around to FXH’s place, I am going to Zoe’s, because if the marinated chook wasn’t enough, the fact that she knows how to do collard greens has completely and utterly transported me to a soul food restaurant in Savannah Georgia in July 1999 … how ironic that, just as we prepare to put a Democrat back in the White House, and a black one at that, I am transported back to the days before George Bush! BTW, that restaurant had pictures of the Clintons on the walls, because he had eaten there.

#6 Zoe on 04.11.08 at 10:19 pm

they were good, too!

#7 Dr Sister Outlaw on 05.11.08 at 8:16 am

the Clintons or the collard greens? Sorry … I assume you meant both

#8 Francis Xavier Holden on 05.11.08 at 9:06 am

Cop this young Harry – I’ll deglaze your gazebo if you’re not careful.

Alright – it’s deglaze the saucepan – or as I should have said – use the tomatoes and stuff to get the flavour thats stuck to the saucepan back into the food.
You can in fact cook it all in the saucepan on top of the stove instead of the oven.

Sista I meant to mention that this will feed at least 6+ people depending on how hungry they are.

#9 Dr Sister Outlaw on 05.11.08 at 10:43 am

OK, so that’s me, my moistie, our two kids and you and Mrs FXH?

#10 Anthony on 06.11.08 at 1:15 pm

Clarification before I embark on this, FX. Does it really cook at above 220C for 2 hours? You mention a ‘warm oven’ and slow cooking, but that sounds like a bloody hot oven

#11 Francis Xavier Holden on 06.11.08 at 2:29 pm

Caught. I really don’t know why I put 220C there. I have no idea what temp I cook it at.

Basically nothing much in the dish needs cooking as it is all cooked by the time it goes in – except for the meat and it has been browned and started cooking. The onions are cooked, ditto garlic and ginger. The tomatoes and stock are just being heated and pulled together with the meat and spices.

I just have it on pretty low if for 3 hours or up to the occassional surface bubble if say 1 hour.

I usually toss a hand full of chopped fresh coriander on top as it’s served. But you knew that didn’t you.

#12 Anthony on 06.11.08 at 3:24 pm

Thanks FX, that all makes sense now.

“I usually toss a hand full of chopped fresh coriander on top as it’s served. But you knew that didn’t you.”

I did know that, I just didn’t know I knew it until you mentioned it. Donald Rumsfeld would understand.

#13 Helen on 07.11.08 at 4:44 pm

I would say about 150 degrees C oven. But I’m a stovetop person, myself, with the curries. My heat diffuser is my best friend when simmering slowly, or when the food is. (For those who don’t know what that is, it’s a metal disc with a handle, kind of like a crazy frying pan with no sides. And you need one.)

I’m about to make a vegan chickpea curry for a veg niece but intend to try this one soon. As I said over at FX’s place, don’t forget the Ahmed Mango pickle (Homer Simpson gargle)

#14 Dr Sister Outlaw: the food averse child is taking da heat | Progressive Dinner Party on 14.12.08 at 7:29 pm

[...] sauce for fish, or alongside spuds – it would be very good with tofu or tempeh. I also ate it with Francis Xavier Holden’s beef curry and it was fine. Obviously, if you want it properly hot, doubling the sambal oelek doubles the [...]

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