When steak lovers see a piece of striploin steak I am quite certain they will salivate at the thought of the perfectly grilled meat dissolving in their mouth. But sometimes I salivate at the thought of that steak cut into smaller pieces and made into a slow-cooked spicy beef curry.
Yes, that’s right, I make curries out of not just stew-quality beef, but also of the top, ‘melt-in-the-mouth’ sirloin quality beef.
There are two reasons I like sirloin-quality beef for curries.
- Unlike the stew beef, which comes from a tougher cut of the meat, the top cuts come from the tender cuts, so they have a softer texture when cooked correctly.
- They come with generous amounts of marbling.
I love the marbling in beef, in fact in any red meat. There is a special feeling when you bite into a piece of fat cooked in an aromatic blend of spices.
My Slow-Cooked Spicy Beef Curry Video
My Spicy Chicken Curry Video
The Recipe for the Slow-Cooked Spicy Beef Curry
This recipe is based on a dish that a now-late friend of mine had used to cook one of the best beef curry dishes I have ever had. But I tweaked it somewhat for this dish.
- 1 kg of sirloin beef with good marbling
- 1 tbsp of finely chopped ginger
- 1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 5 tbsp of curry powder (see my comments)
- 2 tbsp of chili powder (see my comments)
- 1 tsp of turmeric powder
- 1 pandan (rampe) leaf, cut into smaller pieces
- 1 stalk of curry leaves
- 1-2 cups of water
- 3 tbsp of oil (I used sesame seed or gingelly oil but you can use coconut, vegetable or even olive oil)
- Salt to taste
- Coconut milk is optional
Cooking Method for the Slow-Cooked Spicy Beef Curry
- Cut the beef into small pieces. I like to cut some of the fat pieces separately while leave the rest with the meat.
- Heat the oil and sauté first the ginger and then add about two thirds of the pandan leaf pieces.
- Add the onions and about half the curry leaves.
- Stir well. Don’t let the ingredients burn.
- Once the onions are translucent and the pandan and curry leaves are well sauteed, turn off the heat.
- Let it cool down.
- When the heat has cooled down, and there is only a moderate warmth, add the curry and chili powders and stir well.
- Turn on the heat but keep it at low heat.
- Keep stirring.
- After about five minutes (when you smell the mixture getting warmed up and even some smoke coming), add all the meat. Add the rest of the pandan leaf pieces, turmeric powder, and salt, and mix well.
- Close the lid and let it cook.
- Check very often.
- You will notice the slow heat extracting the juices out of the meat pieces. Stir well. They will start absorbing the spices.
- If you feel the heat is too much that it has started to sauté, then reduce the heat further and/or add water.
- About thirty minutes later of low heat cooking you will see the meat turning darker, and the marbling now yellowish brown.
- Add some of the water.
- Close the lid and let it cook.
- Ten minutes later, if you want more curry, add the rest of the water. If you want, you can add coconut milk as well. Add salt to taste.
- Add the rest of the curry leaves.
- Close the lid.
- About an hour after the start of the cooking, you can turn off the heat.
You can have this with any type of flat bread or with rice. I cooked a mixture of white and brown parboiled rice, but you can also have basmati rice.
My Tweak to My Friend’s Recipe
He would start by first low-heat roasting the curry powder, and then add some oil (remember, the powder is only warm not hot), mix it and then add all the meat, salt etc. No onions, ginger, curry leaves etc.
But I wanted the fragrance and the flavour of the ginger, pandan leaves and the curry leaves so I sauteed them in oil first.
The Curry Mixtures
For this curry, I made the mixture myself.
Curry mix – I slow roasted dried chilies, cumin, fennel, black pepper, cardamom, and cinnamon. After it cooled down, I ground the mixture into a powder.
I will do a separate recipe for this later. You can get a good curry powder from any Indian or Sri Lankan store.
Chilli powder was an easy one. Slow roast, let it cool down and then grind.