‘ve been looking for a cold carefree weekend to indulge in this slow cooked curry for ages but with long busy working days, midweek life hasn’t obliged. I love any form of slow cooking and coupled with my more recent love and commitment to the Asian flavours of the East they are combined lovingly here in a comforting wintery curry that while warming the heart will also transport you to the sunny climates of Malaysia….of Bruges!?
Bruges might not seem like the most logical inspiration but a quick hop skip and jump over to Belgium for the evening promoted this weeks blog post! The cold chilly weather, the (sadly) persistent rain and the festive Chrismassy lights was cue for something warming on return to the UK. But my main incentive starts with beer.
Histroical, medical and romantic, Bruges is a small and compact little city. But it has without a doubt the highest concentration of chocolate shops and beer merchants littered on every corner! Belfry view done and canals walked it was time for the brewery tour!
ne of the oldest breweries left in Bruges, De Halve Maan promised history and charm and certainly delivered. We began in the brewing room before winding our way romantically around the high beams and rafters of the old listed building from cold cellar to the top of the roof before ending up in the restaurant bar, rewarding beer in hand, leather sofas and a warming fire to dry our wet feet. With Belgium beer on tap we drank away the rainy afternoon with a platter of meat and cheese and long outstayed our welcome.
o on return home and that carefree Sunday afternoon to indulge, we drank our loot with this warming curry.
- 500g braising steak, chopped
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 large red chilli, chopped (a hot as you dare!)
- 2 inch large piece ginger, chopped
- 1 tsp tumeric
- 1 lemongrass, bashed roughly
- 15 g tamarind paste (about 1 tbsp)
- 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
- Large pinch ground coriander and cumin
- 2 kaffir lime leaves
- 5 cardamon pods
- 1 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5 tbsp desiccated coconut
- 350ml coconut milk
- Rice, lime and coriander to serve
- Preheat the oven to 160°C.
- Start by making the paste. Place the onion, garlic, chilli, ginger, turmeric, lemongrass, tamarind and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process until you have a fine paste.
- Heat 1 tbsp of sunflower oil in a large ovenproof saucepan/casserole dish over a medium heat. Cook out the paste for about 5 minutes but don’t burn or let it catch. Next add the lime leaves, cardamon, star anise and cinnamon stick.
- Add the chopped beef and cook for 10 minutes on a medium high heat until starting to colour and brown.
- Meanwhile, dry toast the coconut in a hot frying pan until golden brown and toasted (careful not to burn). Set aside.
- Next add the ground spices and the coconut milk to the beef.
- Bring to the simmer and mix well. Add the coconut. Place in the oven with a lid for 1 1/2 hours .
- During this time, check and stir occasionally. After this time, check the thickness of the sauce. If it needs to be reduced, remove the lid and placed back in the oven for 5 minutes or so or reduce on the hob. Add a splash more coconut milk if it looks too dry.
- Serve on warm rice dressed in lime juice and scattered with coriander.