Beef curry with onion and black bean sauce
Ingredients: 1kg (2lbs) stewing beef 8 dried red chilli peppers 1 stick fresh lemon grass (or grated rind of 1 lemon) 500g (1lb) onions 150ml vegetable oil 5 tbsps black bean sauce a 5cm (2in) stick of cinnamon 3 tbsp tamarind paste (or 2 tbsps lime juice
1kg (2lbs) stewing beef
8 dried red chilli peppers
1 stick fresh lemon grass (or grated rind of 1/2 lemon)
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500g (1lb) onions
150ml vegetable oil
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5 tbsps black bean sauce
a 5cm (2in) stick of cinnamon
3 tbsp tamarind paste (or 2 tbsps lime juice)
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
CRUMBLE the dried chillies into a small bowl and combine with 4 tbsps hot water, leave to soak for 30 min, then process in a blender. Cut the beef into cubes. Cut the lemon grass into 15cm (6in) lengths, peel and finely slice the onions.
Put the vegetable oil in a large casserole over medium heat and add half the sliced onions when it is hot. Stir and fry for about 15 min or until the onions are just browning and soft. Remove the onions with a slotted spoon and keep on a plate.
Put the dried chilli paste from the blender into the pan and add the rest of the sliced onions. Stir-fry for 5 minutes, then add the black bean sauce and stir for 30 seconds. Add all the other ingredients to the casserole (except the reserved onions) together with 1pt (600ml) water.
Stir well, bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently for 11/4 hours or until the meat is nearly done. Taste and add salt if necessary (the black beans are quite salty so not much is needed).
Stir, turn up the heat and cook with the lid off for another 10 min to reduce the sauce. Add the reserved onions and mix well, reheat and serve with rice. Plenty for four.