Slow beef curry

Yield: 4 servings

Measure Ingredient
5 smalls Dried red chilli's with seeds
3 Whole cloves
1 1 1/2 cm pie cinnamon stick
½ teaspoon Black cardamom seed
1 teaspoon Light oil with a dash of toasted sesame
; oil
7 Garlic cloves; bashed peeled and
; chopped
7 Shallots; peeled and sliced
; very fine
½ teaspoon Ground ginger
½ teaspoon Freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon Zest of lime; cut in fine
; matchsticks
2 tablespoons Water
½ teaspoon Coconut extract
3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
1 pounds Meaty beef shanks or 8oz of another very; trimmed of all
; lean stew meat, visible fat and cut
; into 1 inch pieces
1½ pounds New potatoes; scoured and cut
; into 1 inch pieces
1 pounds Carrots; peeled and cut into
; 1 inch pieces
½ cup Water
2 tablespoons Cornstarch mixed with 4tbsp water
1 cup Strained yoghurt
½ cup Unsalted dry-roasted peanuts

CURRY PASTE

STEW

Curry Paste: Place the chilli's, cloves, cinnamon stick and cardamom into a small coffee grinder and whiz for 30 sec. As a precaution, press the mixture through a very fine sieve to remove any large gritty particles.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the garlic and shallots until they are brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small food processor, add the rest of the curry paste ingredients and puree until the mixture is well blended and forms a fairly smooth paste, about 30 sec.

In a large bowl, mix the beef, potatoes and carrots with the curry paste covering all the surface with the spices. Transfer to a Bundt or Kugelhopf pan and set it aside a large saucepan containing boiling water, so that the water comes halfway up the side of the Bundt pan. Cover and simmer over very low heat until the meat is tender, at least 3 hrs and up to 6 hrs.

Strain the cooking liquids from the meat and vegetables into a medium saucepan. (The cooking liquid is the result of steams condensing on the lid and dropping back into the pan.) Rinse the bundt pan with ½ cup water and add this to the strained liquid in the saucepan. Bring to the boil, add the cornstarch slurry and stir until thickened, about 1 min.

Remove from the heat and gently whisk in the yoghurt. Return the meat and potatoes to the saucepan and cook until just heated through. The dish should not boil otherwise the yoghurt will "break" into hundreds of tiny flecks.

To serve, ladle into bowls and sprinkle with the peanuts. I like to serve this dish with chapati bread or whole-wheat tortillas. A refreshing side dish of peeled cucumber in yoghurt goes very well with this curry.

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