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Monday, September 26, 2005

Spicy Minced Beef Curry

Minced beef curry, the my mother used to make it, is one of my favourite side dishes all year round. The actual flavours and aromas are very similar to a minced beef filling that would be used in tacos and burritos. In fact, when I make this side dish for friends, they actually think I'm making Mexican food. At least until they taste the curry powder. This dish, or variations of it, are actually made all over the world. Here's a version that can be served in a number of ways. Serving suggestions are at the end of the post.

Ingredients
  • 1-2 tbsp of cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp mild or hot curry powder
  • 2 tbsp turmeric - turmeric (haldi) is both a preservative and a colouring agent (yellow).
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 lb ground beef, thawed if necessary. Do not cook from frozen, as it changes the texture of the final product. Feel free to substitute any other minced meat.
  • 1 small onion, diced small
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • Crushed red pepper flake
  • 1 tsp sambal oelek (hot chili paste). Substitute 1 tbsp sriracha hot sauce if you prefer.
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Preparation
  • Heat cooking oil in pan on medium high and swirl around to distribute evenly.
  • Immediately add ground beef and onions. Brown the meat for at least 2 minutes.
  • Add spices and use a (wooden) spatula to distribute. These will burn very quickly when using a gas stove and impart a bitter taste, so if necessary, reduce heat to medium. Mix to incorporate with the beef.
  • Add salt and black pepper, then the wine to deglaze. Stir for a minute or until the wine dissipates, whichever comes first.
  • Reduce heat to medium (if not already done) and add water. Let simmer for 2 minutes or until water reduces down to a nearly thick sauce, whichever comes first.
  • Sprinkle the cilantro on top, toss, and serve.
  • Variations: (1) If you are serving on rice, you can add frozen peas to the curry after browning the meat, when it is no longer pink. (2) Adding potatoes (small-dice) at the same time as the meat as a nice thickness to the sauce of this dish.

Presentation
This is a versatile side dish that can be used in a number of ways: (1) on steamed rice; (2) as a taco filling; (3) as a burrito filling; (4) as a crepe filling; (5) stuffing for Jamaican patties; (6) stuffing for meat empanadas; (7) stuffing for meat samosas. [Recipes for stuffed crepes, Jamaican patties, empanadas, and samosas to come.]

(c) Copyright 2005-present, Raj Kumar Dash, http://chilimonster.blogspot.com

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