RECIPE: The Hairy Bikers

Chinese Curry Beef recipe


Beef Curry, by thewoksoflife.comWhen I set out to test and write this beef curry recipe, I was looking to re-create a version I’d had in Hong Kong many years ago. I remember it having an incredibly concentrated flavor. I’d never tasted anything like it before, and it completely changed the way I make curry.

First, let’s talk about the right cut of beef to use for this dish. A traditional Cantonese beef curry uses a very tendon-y, gristly cut of meat. It tends to be relatively dry after stewing or braising, because it doesn’t have much fat. So as an alternative, we decided to use regular old chuck roast for this recipe, i.e. the cut of meat you would use for a pot roast or beef stew. It has the right amount of fat, which translates to tender, tasty beef (not to mention the price is right).

Just a few things to remember:

  • Add salt at the end of the cooking process to prevent the salt from drying out the beef.
  • Besides the curry power, the right amounts of sugar and salt are the key to bringing out the flavors in this dish.
  • Don’t use your wok to make this dish, because the liquid cooks off too fast.Beef Curry, by thewoksoflife.com Instead, use a thick-bottomed pot or Dutch oven.

You’ll need:

  • 3 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into large (1½-inch) cubes
  • 1/4 cup oil, plus 1 tablespoon (divided)
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 medium onions, cut into large chunks
  • 3 large potatoes, cut into large chunks
  • 2 carrots, cut into large chunks
  • 1½ teaspoons salt (or to taste)

First, blanch the beef to get rid of any impurities. Boil a pot of water, add the chunks of beef, and bring to a boil again. Drain immediately and set aside.

Then turn the heat down to the lowest setting and add the curry powder and turmeric. Stir until well-combined. If need be, add a little bit more oil so the curry powder doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Take care not to burn the spices!

After a minute, add in the beef, chicken broth, sugar and tomato paste. Turn up the heat and bring the mixture to a boil.

Beef Curry, by thewoksoflife.comOnce boiling, give the mixture a stir, turn the heat back down to medium, and cover. Let the curry simmer (covered) for 60-75 minutes. Check on the curry occasionally to stir and make sure your curry isn’t burning.

While the curry is simmering, prepare the onions, potatoes, and carrots. Next, heat a tablespoon of oil in your wok over medium heat. Cook the onions until transparent (about 2 minutes). Transfer to a separate dish and set aside.

After the beef is done simmering, it’s time to add the coconut milk, potatoes, and carrots. Turn up the heat, mix everything well, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down again to medium low, cover, and simmer for another 20 minutes.

By now, the potatoes, carrots, and beef should be tender. Add the onions and salt to taste.

If need be, turn up the heat and reduce the liquid a bit to thicken the sauce. The sauce should be thick, but there should still be plenty left to pour over your rice.

This one gets better after sitting in the refrigerator overnight, so don’t be afraid to make a big batch!

Beef Curry

Total time

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup oil, plus 1 tablespoon (divided)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 shallots, finely chopped
  • One 6-inch section of lemongrass
  • 3 bay leaves
  • ⅓ cup good curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 4 cups chicken broth or water
  • 1½ cups coconut milk

Instructions

  1. First, blanch the beef to get rid of any impurities. Boil a pot of water, add the chunks of beef, and bring to a boil again. Drain immediately and set aside.
  2. Heat ¼ cup of oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium low heat. Add the garlic, shallots, lemongrass, and bay leaves to infuse the oil. Cook for a few minutes. Then turn the heat down to the lowest setting and add the curry powder and turmeric. Stir until well-combined. If need be, add a little bit more oil so the curry powder doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Take care not to burn the spices!
  3. After a minute, add in the beef, chicken broth, sugar and tomato paste. Turn up the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, give the mixture a stir, turn the heat back down to medium, and cover. Let the curry simmer (covered) for 60-75 minutes. Check on the curry occasionally to stir and make sure your curry isn't burning.
  4. While the curry is simmering, prepare the onions, potatoes, and carrots. Next, heat a tablespoon of oil in your wok over medium heat. Cook the onions until transparent (about 2 minutes). Transfer to a separate dish and set aside.
  5. After the beef is done simmering, it’s time to add the coconut milk, potatoes, and carrots. Turn up the heat, mix everything well, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down again to medium low, cover, and simmer for another 20 minutes.
  6. By now, the potatoes, carrots, and beef should be tender. Add the onions and salt to taste. If need be, turn up the heat and reduce the liquid a bit to thicken the sauce. The sauce should be thick, but there should still be plenty left to pour over your rice. This one gets better after sitting in the refrigerator overnight, so don't be afraid to make a big batch!
Beef Curry,  by thewoksoflife.com Beef Curry,  by thewoksoflife.com Beef Curry,  by thewoksoflife.com Beef Curry,  by thewoksoflife.com


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