Indian Beef Stew

Jul 22, 2012 by

Okay, so I started out making beef Rogan Josh – one of my favorite things to order when I we go for Indian food – and then everyone lost their damn minds. Apparently, it wasn’t “real” or “authentic” and Rogan Josh is made only with lamb and with this very rare spice only found on the left side of a mountain where only purple yaks graze at the height of the full moon in July. So, no, clearly this is not “authentic” Rogan Josh. I am not Indian. Nor am I Mexican when I make my pulled chicken stuffed peppers, African when I make my peanut stew or or Asian when I make my beef bowls with cauliflower stir-fried rice.

I’m just me and love all things food and spice and experimenting with flavors and all ethnic foods. So rather than piss off the Ethnic Food Police (or go searching for purple yak spice), I’ll just call this Indian Beef Stew.

I use Penzey’s spices quite often, almost exclusively (and no, they don’t pay me to say this). I love their spice blends and Mike got me a whole Curry box for mother’s day and this is what I used for this recipe. I realize that not everyone has these spice blends in their arsenal but I think they’re worth having to make amazing dishes. You don’t necessarily have to use Penzey’s and should be able to find most of these in the ethnic or health food section of your grocery store. We actually order ours online because the closest Penzey’s is in Chicago.  If you feel so inclined you can make your own Balti and Rogan Josh blends with spices you may likely have in your cabinet or can at least buy easily:

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I also have a little container I keep my whole spices in – nutmeg, cinnamon, bay leafs – and they are amazing in slow-cooked meals, allowing the flavor to steep out slowly and infusing into the final product.

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This ended up with a great heat but a sweetness to it and we served it with white rice and it was perfect to slurp up the extra sauce. Feel free to use cauliflower rice or none at all; white rice is one of our few post-WOD indulgent starches. The thing with the weather here lately is that it’s been so hot and humid that no one wants to cook, and we always reach for the CrockPot in the winter but no one thinks to do so in summer. I think it works out perfectly because with a little prep work, you can have your meal cook itself all day in the sweltering heat without even having to turn on your oven.

You could use lamb or chicken in this dish – I simply used beef because it was what we had on hand.

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1 Comment

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