Monday, February 15, 2010

Coconut Beef Curry Valentine's dinner

We stayed in for Valentine's Day. Usually do, actually. It's especially nice this year since Monday is President's Day and we both have the day off. Ahhhh....

I decided on a recipe I've made once before and vaguely remember liking. It's a coconut beef curry I got out of the newspaper years ago.

Here's what you need:
1 lb. stew beef, cut into small pieces (1/2 to 1 inch cubes)
2 Tblsp. butter
1 onion, chopped (recipe calls for 2, but that seems excessive. 1 is plenty)
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. of each spice: allspice, coriander, paprika, turmeric
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup prunes, chopped (doesn't have to be this much, but they are tasty)
1/2 cup chopped carrots (recipe doesn't call for this, but I had some baby carrots, and they were a delicious addition)
2 Tblsp. brown sugar
1 1/2 cups pumpkin or other orange squash (like butternut), cut into small chunks.
(I had some frozen pureed pumpkin from a few years ago, and I used a cup of that mixed with some frozen butternut squash chunks bought at the store)
2 jalepenos, chopped
1 can coconut milk (NOT lite)

Cook the onion in the butter in a big saucepot/soup pot until brown.
Add garlic and meat. Stirfry thoroughly.
Add spices, lemon juice, water, prunes, carrots, and brown sugar.
Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add pumpkin and peppers. Stir in coconut milk. Simmer another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until it's a nice thick gravy.

In the meantime, make some Basmati rice. For this amount of curry, I made 1 1/2 cups of rice. Rinsed it. Added 2 1/2 cups water. I cook rice by putting a lid on the pan and turning the stove on high until the water is about to boil over. Then I turn down to low and cook until the water's all gone - about 30 minutes total.

Serve the curry over the rice. Top it with fresh cilantro (I got some out of the garden, even in February!) and chopped toasted almonds. Yumm!!

Seeing how it's Valentine's Day, we wanted to have a nice wine with this dinner. But it was really hard to figure out what to have. Beef might suggest a Cabernet Savignon, but curry might suggest a Gezurstraminer... We tasted the sauce and decided on a Syrah: a 2006 Penner-Ash Syrah we got when we were up near Dundee in November. I think we chose well. The bit of smokiness in this wine complimented the coconut and toasted almonds, and the fruity, rich nature complimented the beef and spices.


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