Thursday, September 22, 2011

Beef Vindaloo

I'm not gonna lie, I don't like Indian food.  Not even a little bit.  My husband and I have been to quite a few Indian restaurants over the years and neither one of us like anything but the Naan bread.  But I love this dish.  Probably because I absolutely love vinegar.  I could drink it.  When I make sandwiches I don't use mayonnaise or mustard I use straight up vinegar on them.  My homemade dressings don't need oil unless I'm sharing it with someone.  I'm a vinegar-holic.  So I was drawn to this recipe because of the vinegar.  I've made it probably about 4 times now and I really really like it.  It is spicy with that nice vinegar taste in the background.  I love making flatbread with this and soaking up all that sauce with it.  I got this recipe from Aarti Party on Food Network.  My only problem was finding certain ingredients.  I had to make my own masala spice mix as I couldn't find one in a store but I had most of the spices on hand to easily do that anyways. 

Beef Vindaloo

2 pounds boneless beef top sirloin steak, trimmed of all excess fat, cut into 1-inch cubes

Wet Masala (spice blend):

1 teaspoon cumin seeds (or 1/2 tsp. cumin)

2 (1-inch) pieces cinnamon bark (or 1 tsp. cinnamon)

6 cloves

4 peppercorns
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

6 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

1-inch thumb fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoon canola oil

1 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
1 serrano pepper, sliced in half

Kosher salt

In a small skillet, over medium-high heat, toast the cumin seeds, cinnamon bark, cloves, and peppercorns until fragrant, about a minute or so. (Skip this step if you are using already ground spices.)  Pour into a spice grinder, and process until powdered.

  In a small food processor or blender, combine the toasted spice mix and rest of the wet masala ingredients (which is the garlic and ginger). Process until smooth. Place a large, preferably nonstick pot over medium heat, and add oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the onions and serrano pepper. Stirring frequently, saute onions until golden brown, about 12 minutes. 

Add the ground wet masala, taking care because it will sizzle wildly. Stir quite vigorously, and turn down heat if it's bubbling too furiously. Don't wash the food processor cup yet. Keep stirring, with short pauses, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the masala comes together as one mass, about 2 minutes. Also, you may see little droplets of oil on the perimeter of the masala. That's a good sign!

Quickly add the meat, and stir, coating the meat in the masala. Stir and cook about 5 minutes until the meat browns.

 Remember that dirty food processor vessel? Fill it with 1 cup of hot water swirl it around so it picks up any leftover masala, and pour that into the pot. Add 1 teaspoon salt, stir and bring the curry to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer. Cover and cook 45 minutes. Then cook with the lid ajar for another 15 minutes, to thicken the gravy slightly.

Check the meat at the end of the cooking time; it should be tender, and not chewy at all. Adjust salt if you like, and serve over rice over with flatbread.

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