Be prepared for the whole house to smell amazing for a couple of days after you prepare this specialty. I particularly love it in the fall or winter when it also seems to help warm the house….
Don’t be alarmed by what may look like a lengthy list of ingredients, most are items in the pantry anyway, and if not – try out something new and find more ways to use it.
2 tbsp ghee (or butter (ghee is clarified butter)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 large onions, finely diced (you should get about 2 cups)
10 cloves garlic (yes, really)
1 cup pureed fresh tomatoes (in the winter feel free to use canned)
1 tsp ground fenugreek seeds
1 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tbsp mexican chili powder
1 whole piece cinnamon bark (about 3″ long)
5 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup red wine (make sure to use one you would be happy to drink!)
2 1/2 pounds beef short ribs
Use a large pot for this, with a heavy bottom.
Melt ghee or butter on medium heat. Once melted add oil and cumin seeds. Let seeds sizzle for about 30 seconds, then add onions. (Your house smells amazing already, doesn’t it?)
Take your time with the onions – part of the rich flavour in this dish is from allowing the onions to get nice and browned, slowly. Once they are a rich gold colour add the garlic and sauté until the garlic is a golden brown also. The longer the onions spend slowly getting dark the more rich flavour the curry will have.
Reduce the heat to low and add tomatoes, fenugreek, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, chili and cinnamon bark. Stir well and slowly increase heat to medium. Allow to cook until the ghee starts to separate from the tomato mixture (you will notice pockets of clear liquid on top).
Stir in red wine and chicken stock – bring to a boil. Allow to cook, stirring enough so that it doesn’t stick, until once again the ghee separates from the mixture.
Add short ribs, stir, cover and allow to simmer for about 4 hours.
NOTE – the cinnamon is meant to be subtle in this recipe … just a hint of it. While it is cooking, if you notice a strong cinnamon scent, remove it from curry, it has done the job.
At this point, I have also put the curry into the oven and just forgot about it for that time, while the house simply became more inviting …
Professional chefs and equipment probably get this ready for the simmer in 20-30 minutes, but it always takes me an hour to develop that colour in the onions and complete the prep stage.
Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and serve with basmati rice. A perfect dish to accompany this? My roasted tandoori cauliflower with mint & cilantro sauce.
This curry is beyond delicious. If you want to make it a vegetarian dish it is easy enough to do – use all vegetable oil to sauté the onions and replace chicken stock with vegetable stock. When it comes time to nestle the short ribs into the stock just substitute ribs with any of your favourite vegetables. If you are using root vegetables that take a long time to cook go ahead and put them into the curry early. If using vegetables that take less time, put them in the curry closer to the end of the cooking time.