One Pot Beef Curry with Potato and Spinach
I know this isn’t a very genuine recipe, as you hardly get beef in India, for obvious reasons. You could also make a very similar curry with lamb or goat, which my butcher sometimes has and is worth looking out for. This is an adaptation of my own, just right when you want something spicy and warming, easy to make ahead of time and ready to dig into. The long slow cooking gives you a beautiful depth of flavour and brings out the richness of the beef. The meat curry freezes very well without the potatoes in it, and it also keeps in the fridge for a few days, so can be made well ahead and just heated up when you come home from a long walk in the woods (or from having a bonfire).
If you normally dry fry your spices when making a curry sauce, have a think about doing it my way or rather Mrs. Singh’s way. I had a cooking lesson in Jaipur and learned that while whole spices should be dry fried, ground spices should be mixed with water before adding to the pan, so that they don’t scorch and add bitter flavours. Give it a go. And to make your life easy, feel free to use a good mixed curry powder if you haven't got all the individual spices.
Timings: 1 hour preparation, 4-5 hours slow cooking, 1 hour finish.
Coat the meat in the seasoned flour and fry in batches, to brown each side. Tip the meat into your casserole dish or slow cooker. Wipe the frying pan.
Peel and chop the onions, de-string the celery and chop into small pieces. Fry gently in the oil. Chop the chillies and ginger and squish the garlic with salt. Add to the pan. Fry for a few minutes more. Put the curry powder or your spice mix into a small glass and add water to make a paste. Tip the paste into the pan with the onions etc. and stir to cook. Add the tin of tomatoes and another tin full of water. Stir up and continue to heat until it simmers. Add several dashes of Worcester sauce, a good squeeze of lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of marmite and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Stir up, taste and adjust the seasoning – you might need more salt.
Tip the whole sauce mixture into your casserole dish or slow cooker. Cook on high for 2 hours and medium for another 2 hours, or in a very low oven for 3-4 hours. The sauce should be thick and tasty but still quite juicy and the meat will be tender.
Tip the potato cubes into the casserole and mix in. Cook for another 30 minutes on a higher heat, as the sauce needs to be simmering now to cook the potatoes. If using the slow cooker, at this point you might need to transfer what you are going to eat today to a casserole dish and add the potatoes, putting the other portion aside for freezing. About 5 minutes before the end, stir in the spinach.
Serve with rice, if you need extra carbohydrate, or maybe some buttered naan bread. Have some fresh relishes on the side – cucumber and yoghurt and chopped tomato with red onion to zing up your tastebuds, perhaps some lovely sweet mango chutney.
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