On the rare occasion that I go out to eat (as you can see on this blog, I like to cook a lot of things myself), I enjoy Indian food. The variety of spices, the textures, the flavours, all are so intense. After making daal and naan bread this week, I thought I’d make one of my other favourites when I go to a local Indian restaurant: Vindaloo. I was planning on doing it with bison meat, but I was in a bit of a rush through the farmer’s markets this past weekend so I was only able to pick up beef. A gorgeous, organic beef stew meat from the lovely family at Sunshine Organic.
For the spice mix:
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp hot Hungarian paprika
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
4 or 5 whole cloves
2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cardamom seeds (about 8-10 green cardamom pods)
In a spice grinder, or a blender, add all of the spices and grind into a fine powder. Set aside.
For the vindaloo:
2 Tbsp Mighty Trio Organics cold pressed canola oil
450g/1lb Sunshine Organic beef stew meat
1 medium August Organics onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1/4 cup homemade grainy mustard (or 1 tsp ground mustard + 1 tsp ground turmeric + 3 Tbsp vinegar)
1-1/2 cups August Organics Russet potato, cut into 3cm (1-1/2″) chunks
2 cups chicken stock (I use homemade)
In a medium bowl, combine the stew meat and ground spice mixture. Toss until the spice is well encrusted on each chunk of stew meat.
In a large pot, add half the oil over medium high heat. When the oil is hot enough to ripple but not quite smoke, add half of the seasoned meat. Sear all sides and remove from the pan. Repeat with the remaining seasoned meat.
Add the onions, the reserved seared meat and sauté over medium high heat until the onion softens. Add the ginger and mustard and stir for a further 60-90 seconds, ensuring all the meat is well coated in the savoury flavours.
Add the stock and potatoes and bring to a simmer.
Cover, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Take off the cover and simmer for a further 40-60 minutes to reduce the liquid slightly. The latter time will reduce the liquid almost entirely and increase the potency of the chilli spice level. Serves 4 with sides of basmati rice and yogurt (to tame the heat, if desired).