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Monday, January 27, 2014

Beef Curry with Whole Shallots

I have to admit that my European side has been pulling me into its arms lately.  I tend to lean that way when I'm not feeling my best and the doctor tells me not to eat anything that might overwork my stomach or intestines.
Hmm that's pretty limiting for me... no chilies no daal?  What in the world can I make without those two key ingredients to my happiness?
Well it turns out I'm feeling better and my Asian side is pulling me back.. though not all the way to India, my heart is making a pit stop in Burma.
I don't have many ingredients since I'm going out of town tomorrow, but I did have a pound of stew beef, my spice drawer, and a can of coconut milk.
My Burma book decided to take a hold on me and had me open up to page 185: Simplest beef curry with whole shallots.
I added a few things to make it "mine" but the inspiration came from there.  I've identified my modifications in case you want to stick to the original recipe.  I really really enjoyed my version so choose wisely.
Serves 4
1 lb (500g) stewing beef, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1/2 tsp fleur de sel (or just regular salt)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 Tbsp grated garlic
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 Tbsp peanut oil (I used canola with a dash of sesame)
1 large carrot, cubed (optional)
1 can coconut milk (original recipe uses 3 cups water)
1 can water
2 tsp fish sauce
8 small shallots, peeled
5-6 kaffir lime leaves (optional)
1/2 tsp red chile powder
fried shallots
crushed peanuts (optional)
1.  Rub the turmeric and salt into the meat, massaging each piece with your fingers.  Let marinate in the fridge at least 1 hour.
2.  In a heavy based pressure cooker, heat the oil and fry the garlic and ginger together for 1-2 minutes or until the raw smell goes away.
3.  Add the beef.  Sear until all the pieces are browned.
4.  Add the carrots, fish sauce, coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves, and water.  Bring to a boil, then cook under pressure for 25 minutes (or simmer half covered for 1 hour)
5.  Open the pressure cooker, add the shallots and chile powder, stir and simmer for another 20 minutes (until your rice finishes cooking).  By this time, the beef and shallots should be nice and tender.

Serve with plain rice, or as I did, a mix of thai red rice with basmati.
Garnish with fried shallots and crushed peanuts.

Exactly what I needed.
It's too bad I'm leaving town.. I feel like this week has major potential for real Cuisine..
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