Thursday, November 20, 2014

Crockpot Beef Curry

When my northern Maine mama married my southern Kentucky papa, the first thing he did was introduce her to ways to cook food without boiling or creaming it. So I grew up with a very southern diet and my parents were smart enough to introduce us to all sorts of foods and flavors. I especially love ethnic foods with all their spicy goodness... Italian, Indian, Chinese, Thai, Middle Eastern, Greek - you name it and I love it!

When I lived in Zambia, I was fortunate enough to make friends with some Indian ladies who taught me how to make curries.  I made them all the time there because the ingredients were easy to get.  To this day, when Little Helen visits Zambia, she brings me back curry powder.  It is usually hand blended and sold in the Indian grocery stores there and there is nothing like it.

Once I moved back to the USA, for some reason I didn't make curry as often and once I started trying again, I felt like I'd lost my touch.  About 18 months ago, I started making Beef Curry as I figured that might be one that Mr. Helen would eat (he loves beef).  I kept changing things in the recipe and this past week the curry I made had Mr. Helen saying, "This is it.  Perfect."  So I thought I'd share the recipe here... it's a nice dish to make around Thanksgiving just to have a break from all the turkey.

If you're scared to try curry, this is so easy because it's done in the crockpot.  Also, if you haven't figured it out yet, Beef Curry is pretty much the Indian version of beef stew!

Crockpot Beef Curry

2 pounds of cubed stew beef (usually top round)
1 pound white potatoes, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
1 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
1 medium red or white onion, diced
2 T tomato paste
2 T curry powder, hot or mild
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp fresh black pepper

Put everything in the crockpot, give it a stir and cook it for 5 hours on high or 10 hours on low!  Serve over white or brown rice.  Makes 8 servings.


Notes:

I use mild curry powder because Mr. Helen doesn't like really spicy hot stuff.  If you do, use the hot curry powder.  You could also add cayenne pepper or chilis to the spice mix.

If you like, you can also add carrots to this curry.  I don't because I usually roast my carrots, so that I have them as a side dish for other things I'm cooking during the week.  But I ate many a curry with carrots in Zambia.  You can also leave the vegetables out completely and just make the beef.

Anyway you make it, this is a warm, delicious, and filling dish!