We're entering the hottest, most brutal part of summer here in Alabama, and somehow, it hasn't been THAT bad this past week. We've had TONS of rain this summer, but this week has been almost spring-like. Temperatures have been in the 80s instead of upper 90s, and the humidity has actually been bearable. I actually don't feel like dying every time I walk outside, and I'm craving foods that are actually hearty and not chilled.
Today is a perfect day for a hearty meal. It's raining (AGAIN) - all day we've been dealing with summer thunderstorms, which have left the skies dark and gray, and the temperatures unseasonably mild (for us).
I still don't feel like hovering over a hot stove, though. BUT, I don't mind cooking 'low and slow' meals - even it it takes a lot longer, it still beats cooking over a searing hot wok and getting your face melted off, a la Raiders of the Lost Ark . This coconut curry beef stew is perfect - I want a hearty, comforting dish, but without a ton of effort. This dish takes a few hours to prepare, but like 90% of that time is spent without any intervention other than occasional stirring. Lazy AND tasty!
It's like a hybrid of Japanese curry and beef stew, with touches of Thai cuisine thanks to the coconut milk and basil. Oh yeah, and there is DEFINITELY some heat in this dish as well! No curry pastes or special sauces are needed for this recipe - the hardest item to find will be the curry powders. If you can't find Madras and/or hot curry powder, feel free to just use 'plain' curry powder - this recipe will be every bit as delicious. If you don't want to serve it over rice, try rice noodles instead.
loosely adapted from When East Meets West
2 lbs beef chuck, cut into cubes
3 Tbsp oil
1 sweet onion, diced
2 Tbsp madras curry powder
2 Tbsp hot curry powder (I prefer S&B)
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1 can coconut milk
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
2 carrots, peeled and cubed
3 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp cold water
1 handful fresh basil
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the beef and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add the curry powder, cumin, salt, coconut milk and broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low.
Add the carrots and potatoes. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until the beef and vegetables are tender.
Whisk the cornstarch and cold water together. Stir into the simmering stew and let cook about 5 minutes or until thickened.