Monday, January 30, 2017

Cookbook Countdown: Smothered Beef

Back to Madhur Jaffrey's Quick & Easy Indian Cooking for tonight's dinner. Our main dish was Smothered Lamb (or Pork or Beef) (p31). This is one of the few main dishes from this book that I've not yet made. Tonight I did the beef version using the pressure cooker.

This dish can be make with lamb, pork, or beef. I chose beef because we don't eat that much, and it's easy to find at the grocery. Cubes of beef for bourguignon (I think they're shoulder) are available with the pre-cut meat, so I don't have to ask at the counter. (As are cubes of pork shoulder. But there's nothing similar for lamb.)

Preparation starts by mixing the beef cubes in a large bowl with an onion, some ginger, a tomato, some cilantro (all finely chopped), a pair of green chilies cut into fine rings, ground turmeric, garam masala, ground cumin, yogurt, tomato paste, and salt. Then heat some oil in the pressure cooker and sauté four finely chopped cloves of garlic till golden. Stir in the seasoned meat*. Close the pressure cooker and cook at pressure for twenty minutes for beef. (Lamb and pork cook for only fifteen minutes.) Reduce the pressure quickly, remove the lid, and cook uncovered until the sauce is thick, stirring occasionally. Add lots of freshly ground black pepper, stir, and serve.

* Jaffrey has you add a half cup of water if you're cooking without the pressure cooker. I was worried about the lack of liquid, so I added a slog (maybe a short half a cup) of water. I ended up boiling that off at the end, so I expect I worried for nothing.

Cooked without the pressure cooker, this would have taken an hour and half. Again, we were impressed by such a delicious dish in such a short time.

(That's Jaffrey's Stir-Fried Cabbage with Fennel Seeds (p88) on the side.)

January starts a new year with Cookbook Countdown. Why don't you choose a book, or two, or more, from your cookbook shelf and join in?


  1. That looks like a nice comforting dish. I like it when you share what you do and if it was a success or not (like adding the water) because I know that I would do the same thing by adding just a bit of water to be sure. :-)

  2. I adore Madjur's recipes. Always so tasty.

  3. I have a bit of lamb shoulder left over... might just give this go, on the stovetop! Delicious!

  4. I love all of MJ's curry meat dishes, and have not found any that I don't like. This looks delicious and I have this recipe in another book of MJ's. I have bookmarked to try it for ages and will make this when I crave for some Indian meal.