I’m on the mission to cook different curries from different cuisines and countries for the next few days to weeks. I love spice and especially curry, obviously. I don’t think anyone is capable to escape from an upbringing in Durban, the land of curry and rice, curry bunny chow, curry roti, curry anything you can imagine really, without a curry infection :).
Tonight I’m not making what I usually make when I make my curries, which are pretty good by the way even if I have to say so myself :), for an non-Indian person in South Africa. But my husband won’t say whose curry is better, mine or his mother’s? But I’ve learnt to stop asking that question, as much as I’m confident I make good curry, he might just choose hers. Maternal bond and all of that, the reason obviously, not the actual curry.
Anyway, tonight I’m making Jamaican beef fillet curry. I got this recipe from a South African magazine ‘ Food & Home’. Of course I tweaked it to mine and my families palate and the varieties of ingredients I have in my fridge and pantry. The original recipe was Jamaica curried lamb. But I have beef fillet in my freezer that has been frozen for a couple of weeks and I need to cook it before it goes off. So tonight, beef fillet it is.
I also don’t have sprigs of thyme but I do have dried thyme, so that’s what Im using.
As much as I love spice and curry, I am also mindful of the fact that there is a line. Aware that you can have too much heat. So I’d rather underheat, then add more heat later if its not enough; than overheat. Chefs always go on about, you can always put in more but you can’t take out. Unfortunately this is very true.
What do you need?
- Long grain rice
Veggies- 1 onion, 2x spring onions, 3 garlic cloves, 1 tsp of grated ginger, 2 potatoes
Spices- 3 tsp of curry powder, 1 green chili, salt & pepper
Herbs- 2 large sprigs of thyme or 1tbs of dried thyme
- In a food processor or blender, mix the chopped veggies with the exception of the potatoes. Add in 100ml of olive oil, thyme( I have dried thyme so that’s what I’m using), curry powder and the chili. Mix together into a paste.
Pour the mix into a pot and put on the stove. Let this cook for a couple of minutes until you can smell those beautiful fragrances around your whole house! Obviously depending on how big your house is.
My sign to know the paste is fragrant enough; is my husband shouting from the lounge: that smells very good! This should generally be 3-4 minutes.
I wish you could smell through the picture, it really is amazing. My tummy is literally grumbling right now :)!
You can cook this curry with any red meat, if it’s lamb or stewing beef or any cut of meat that takes a bit of time to cook. Then brown it in a pan with olive oil, to seal in the juices before cooking. But I’m cooking this with beef fillet, which is very delicate and mustn’t be overcooked. So no browning.
Into the fragrant hot paste; add quarters of potato, 100ml red wine, the liquid from rinsing the food processor/blender with water( 100ml) and cook for 15 min. NB: I cannot get myself to cook a red meat curry without red wine! Confession :).
In the meantime, cook your rice in salted water. Then strain when done.
In 15 minutes, add cubes of beef fillet and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Remember we need to keep the fillet tender but infused with the curry flavours at the same time. This is the delicate part, the balancing: moisture of the meat vs flavour.
Serve with rice, and a sprinkle of chopped green chilies and coriander flowers. Bon Appetit!