Please Dad - no more barbecues...
I was a late starter where curry was concerned. Not until my late teens did I get to sample the delights of the Khyber Pass in Dorking High Street, since then I have become a curry-a-holic enjoying the flavours and spices at any given opportunity. With Sarah and the boys suffering with BBQ fatigue a curry seemed the perfect antidote.
I managed to make the whole dish without venturing into a single grocery store, everything I used was either available from our online store, in the cupboard or via other specialist independent online retailers – the ghee for example.
I used a Dutch Oven to cook the curry, I have owned one for several years and alas it’s an underused piece of equipment, but on this occasion I think the cast iron pan’s incredible ability to defuse the heat helped with cooking, plus even though I wasn’t technically barbecuing I still got to light the Big Green Egg.
Ingredients – serves 4 – 6
3 x packets of 330g Hill House Farm Diced Beef
1 x 500ml pot of Hill House Farm Beef Stock
2 onions finely diced
1 teaspoon of fresh chopped ginger
3 crushed cloves of garlic
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 mug full of red lentils
1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
1 teaspoon of dried chilies
1 teaspoon of garam masala
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
1 tablespoon of ghee
Fresh coriander to garnish
I started out by heating the spices in the dry Dutch oven on the hob, then adding the ghee and sautéing off the onion without colour. Once the onion was soft I added the beef and sautéed this off.
Finally I added our beef stock, the tomato, garlic, ginger and the lentils, brought the mix slowly up to the boil then put the lid onto the Dutch oven and carefully placed it into the oven or in my case the Green Egg at around 130c. I left it to cook for two and a half hours.
Meanwhile I made some homemade naan breads using the BBC Good Food Recipe, you can find it here. We cooked them on the stone baking plate in the Big Green Egg once the Madras was cooked. These were a huge hit and far better than anything we have ever had from the shops.
As a side dish I wanted to make a little sag aloo, there are countless recipes on line but in keeping with my desire not to visit the supermarket we swapped spinach for Watercress from Kingfisher at Abinger. I picked off the leaves and used these the same as you would spinach, with the stalks which are packed with flavour and colour, I blended these with the vegetable stock used in the cooking process of the sag aloo. The result was fantastic, vibrant green sag aloo, with the peppery zing of watercress.
Once my Madras was cooked, I removed it from the oven. The other great advantage with the Dutch Oven, is that the latent heat in the cast iron keeps the food hot for a considerable time, allowing you to do little things like make your own fresh naan breads! Before serving I checked the Madras for seasoning and adjusted accordingly. The ghee had given our dinner the most incredible sheen, and the lentils had set to work thickening up the rich cooking liquor. We garnished with a little fresh coriander, which Sarah is currently growing in the garden.
Served with plain rice, naan breads and my hybrid Sag Aloo this was a great Sunday treat and took me back to my first forays to the Khyber Pass in the early 90’s.