And so it was, on a really busy week, that the packet of Organic Beef pieces was guilting me from afar.
Me: (sighing, and definitely on the grumpy side) I’ll just throw this together with whatever else is lying around, and sure it will be grand…’
Me: (later, and definitely more cheerful) Honestly, I should do this more often!
Sometimes, you just chuck a dish together without even thinking about it; and what a joy it is when it turns out so well!
Here’s what I used:
- A large frying pan.
- An ovenproof casserole
- Chopping board, sharp knife etc.
- 300g or so of beef pieces
- 2 large onions roughly chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 300g Mushrooms – I used mini-Portobello mushrooms – chopped small.
- 2 teaspoons of ground Cumin
- 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
- Sprinkle of dried Chilli flakes – or half a fresh red /green chilli, finely chopped if you have it.
- generous splash of red wine
- 1 x 350g jar of Passata
- 2-3 tablespoons of dark Soy sauce.
- 1 tablespoon of dark brown sugar – I used dark Muscovado
- Salt – taste it first – and Pepper
- Rapeseed oil
- Basmati Rice – to serve.
- Heat the oven to 120º Fan or the equivalent.
- Heat the oil in the pan until it’s hot – add the beef pieces and stir them around.
- Allow the beef to cook until the pieces are charred on the edges – about 10 minutes. If you’re using a large amount of beef, or have a small frying pan, you might need to do this in two batches. Remove the beef to a plate.
- Reduce the heat and add the onions.
- Add the chopped mushrooms. Stir around until they start to wilt – about 5-10 minutes.
- Add the garlic and all the spices.
- Return the beef to the pan.
- Add the wine; let it bubble and reduce.
- Add the Passata and the Soya Sauce.
- Season with a little salt (taste it first – the Soy Sauce might be salty enough) and lots of freshly ground Black Pepper.
- Transfer the whole lot to the casserole and pop it into the oven at 120ºFan for 1-2 hours or until the beef is tender. See NOTES
- If you like, add a handful of chopped Apricots and cook for a further 15 minutes.
- As always, this tastes better the next day, so leave it if you can, then reheat gently while you cook the rice.
- Serve with Basmati Rice.
- This will freeze like a dream, so make it, freeze it in a labelled and dated container with a tight-fitting lid. Use within 3 months.
- This would be ideal for a slow cooker – most of the liquid from the mushrooms is evaporated before you leave it to cook.
- This is a dark, comfort-food curry – it’s warm and comforting, rather than spicy-hot -which is just perfect on a cold wintery evening.
- Once thawed, it reheats in about the time it takes to cook the rice. Magic!