Goan Curried Beef With Coconut Milk, Vinegar and Potatoes is an unbelievably easy and delicious twist on meat and potatoes. It whips together in moments, and hours later you have a meal fit for a king. Affiliate links have been used in this post to link to items I am discussing.
Do you have any idea how exhausting a museum excursion is with 2 toddlers?
We spent today at the Cincinnati Children’s Museum as well as the History Museum (which is in the same location and our pass gets us in to either), and we had a blast. But it is an hour away, our first attempt at leaving failed when the car died (we shifted the car seats to John’s car) and we needed to stop at Best Buy and the grocery store on the way home, and let’s just say that by the time we got home nobody was very cheerful, we ate take-out burritos for dinner, and every key that I hit feels like a cardio vascular exercise.
OK maybe not that bad but you get the point.
Which is a shame because I am in danger of backlogging on recipes but I have to get across to you somehow how incredibly spectacular that Indian dish I made was. It was run-don’t-walk to get the ingredients kind of good, especially because in another month or 2 none of you will feel like making it. Unless you live in Canada, in which case I give you 3 months maybe.
This recipe is closely adapted from a dish in Raghavan Iyer’s 660 Curries; Iyer called it a stew, but for us it was more of a braise. He calls for something like a pound of chuck cut into cubes, but for us chuck is almost always packaged and frozen in 3 lbs pieces, frequently bone-in–plus I hate the idea of cutting chuck into 1-inch cubes and stewing them quickly. I am more of a slow and low kinda girl. But I did not correspondingly increase the liquid, just the potatoes, which meant that the sauce was thick and rich and out of this world–but technically healthier than tripling the coconut milk would have been anyway. And the resulting sauce is AH-mazing over the potatoes.
[I adore this dish–so much that I have made it several times in the years since posting this. So I came back in November 2015 to update the pictures.]
Welcome to my photography circa 2009! I used a lot less chile powder in this version, but otherwise it is identical to the other photos.
This is a Goan dish, probably influenced by Portuguese merchants. That latter point is a guess on my part–Iyer does not mention it–but the presence of beef and vinegar indicate that to me. In vindaloo, the vinegar is an influence from the Portuguese merchants who carried wine–but because of the long trip some would sour and they would find a cooking use for it. It stands to reason since this is a Goan dish also that the same would be true. And beef is so rare, at least to me, in Indian food that it seems like a European influence as well. So that’s my dime store analysis of the origin of this dish–take it for what it is worth (probably not much).
I served this with a Carrot Cashew Salad, which I am glad we made but I don’t know if I would call it a repeater. I am going to share the recipe because I am always on the lookout for easy Indian veggie dishes to serve with curries, and I definitely think this one is worth trying. I found the base recipe in Yamuna Devi’s amazing Lord Krishna’s Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking. I am not guaranteeing you will fall in love with it–it’s flavors are a little unexpected to this American’s palate, and my kids were very wary of it. But John and I ate it all–I liked it more the second night; maybe I just had to get used to it?
By the way: raise your hand if you knew that turmeric was a meat tenderizer. I sure did not! Cancer fighting super spice, yes. Meat tenderizer, that was new to me.
- 3 lbs bone-in beef chuck, cut into 5-7 large chunks (see comments above re: braised vs stew; if you use less beef be sure to reduce the cayenne and turmeric)
- 3 t cayenne pepper OR 1 t cayenne, 1 t half sharp paprika and 1 t sweet paprika for less heat
- 1½ t ground turmeric
- 1½ lbs potatoes (you can cut into 1-inch chunks and submerge in water until they are needed or you can choose a waxy potato and leave them whole and un-peeled, which has become my preference, in which case add the potatoes with the meat at the beginning of the cooking)
- 2 T vegetable oil
- 3 red onions, thinly sliced (shallots are fine too--Iyer calls for shallots)
- ½ t cardamom (I am out of whole--use 4 bruised whole pods if you have them)
- 4 dried bay leaves
- 5 2-inch cinnamon sticks
- 2 heaping t ground cumin
- 2 heaping t ground coriander
- 1 14-oz can coconut milk
- 1 14-0z can diced tomatoes
- ⅓ cup cider vinegar (Iyer calls for malt vinegar which I do not have)
- salt to taste
- chopped cilantro for garnish
- Cut the chuck into large pieces and cut the bone out. Rub the meat with the cayenne and turmeric and refrigerate (with the bone) for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight. The longer it marinates the more the turmeric will tenderize the meat.
- Preheat the oven to 300 F. Heat the oil in a large dutch oven. Add the cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks and bay leaves and roast in the oil until fragrant. Add the meat and brown it and the bone in stages, on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and add the onions. Cook briefly. Add the cumin and coriander. Briefly stir fry. Re-add the meat as well as the vinegar, coconut milk and tomatoes (including the juices). Bring to a boil. (Add the potatoes now if using whole, unpeeled waxy boiling potatoes.) Place parchment paper over the pot and then place a heavy lid on the pot. Place in the oven for 1½ hours (or longer, in which case braise at 275 F).
- Remove the pot and stir the meat briefly. Drain the potatoes and add them to the pot. Turn the heat up to 300 F if you had it lower. Stir the potatoes into the liquids and replace the parchment and lid. Put it back in the oven for another hour or until the potatoes are fork tender but not falling apart. Iyer says because of the tomatoes, the potatoes can take at least 1½ hours before falling apart. If the dish is ready before you are, just leave it in the oven at 250 F.
- Before serving, sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
- 2 cups shredded carrots, pressed dry
- 1 sweet bell pepper, finely chopped
- ½ cup cashew nuts, toasted and chopped (I just used salted and roasted)
- 3-4 T plain yogurt, to taste
- 2 T chopped cilantro
- 2 T ghee (or vegetable oil, but the ghee will have more flavor)
- 2 t dark mustard seeds
- Toss the first 5 ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Heat the ghee in a small saucepan. Add the mustard seeds and heat until they pop--be prepared to cover the pot to keep seeds from escaping. As soon as they stop popping, pour over the salad and toss.
For those who love collages….
that salad actually sounds really good to me. I might have to test it out – especially with my new found love of all things mustard seed related with Indian food.
noble pig says
It looks incredible. I’m amazed you had the energy to post it!
The stew looks really great…I love coconut milk and it seems perfect for a cold evening. I think I will try it out once I get my slow cooker (I live in a dorm with a public kitchen so I can’t just leave things down there for hours on end).
That Girl says
Doing anything with toddlers is exhausting! You are a very brave woman!
This looks just awesome Laura!
I know what its like to go to a museum with 4 kids under 6!! We took them to see Dinosaurs Alive when they were little (my aunt and I) and the two oldest kids were so scared that they wouldn’t go in! I ended up taking the two little ones in myself while my aunt sat outside with the two scaredy cats!
you’ll have to make this again using the vietnamese cinnamon! i’m sure it’ll make an already fantastic dish even better. 🙂