Baked Beef and Almond Curry

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I persist with trying to get the kids to eat curry. I also struggle to get stew into them. This meant that this dish, a curry, was a big risk.

I ran out of some of the ingredients halfway through but I kept going.

The boys saw the dinner and refused point blank to even taste it. Then, Ciarán, in a attempt to show that he’s much “gooder” than Cathal tasted it. And to his own surprise he loved it, and even asked for seconds!

It’s warm and tasty rather than spicy, lots of gorgeous flavours co-mingling.

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Baked Beef and Almond Curry
From Pat Whelan
4 tablespoons groundnut oil (I used rapeseed)
12 small green cardamom pods
2 x 5 cm cinnamon sticks
1.2 kg stewing beef – chuck would be perfect (I used supermarket stewing beef from Supervalu)
2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
4 medium onions (I sliced these, there are no instructions what to do with them)
20 g fresh ginger, finely chopped
3 tablespoons ground coriander (I ran out and had 2)
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
500 g natural yoghurt
100 g ground almonds
juice of half a lemon (I forgot this bit too)
Fresh/dried coriander lead for garnish (I added this)
Serves 6 (generously)

To cook:
Preheat the oven to 180° C.
Heat the oil in a heavy ovenproof casserole (or if you don’t have one, put one on your shopping list and be prepared to cook in saucepan and then transfer all to casserole dish) and add the cardamom pods and cinnamon sticks.

Brown the beef in batches, setting to one side as they are ready. (Retain the juices that collect).

Add the cumin seeds and let them pop before adding the onions. Then, fry the onions until they start to turn pale brown.

Add the fresh ginger, ground coriander, cayenne and salt, and then mix it well with the onions.

Reduce the heat and return the beef and any retained juices to the pan, stir well to coat the beef with the onion and spice mixture, add the yoghurt and stir to mix everything together. (No, we haven’t forgotten the almonds, keep reading)

Increase the heat to medium/high until it’s simmering.

Take a large piece of foil and cover the casserole, sealing tightly around the edges.

Then place the lid on top and put the casserole in the oven.

Bake for about 90 minutes or until the meat is tender, adding the almonds after about an hour. (90 minutes was plenty)

Just before serving, add lemon juice and season to taste.

I served with basmati rice.

Recipe from The Irish Beef Book by Pat Whelan and Katy McGuinness

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