The subtitle for this could be "When recipes go wrong!". Or maybe, "When recipes aren't tested", or even "Make sure you proof read".
We got this recipe from Madhur Jaffrey's Curry Easy book. It's well presented with pictures that just make you want to cook the recipes. And the titles of the recipes are pretty good as well. Sri Lankan Beef Smore - sounds exotic, unusual and right up my street.
Braising beef - chuck, blade or brisket
Salt and pepper
4 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds - we used ground as we didn't have the seeds
4 tablespoons oil
5 cm stick of cinnamon
1 large onion - chopped
5 cm piece of ginger - grated
4 cloves garlic - chopped
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
350ml stock - beef or chicken
1 teaspoon cayenne
250ml coconut milk
All good so far, as long as you've got a decent store cupboard. The problem lies with the instructions. The recipe calls for the toasting and grinding of the seeds. No problem. But then it doesn't tell you what to do with them! A bit of an oversight.
So we decided to treat it like the Jamie Oliver brisket chili recipe, and rubbed the ground seeds into the meat. Then it's into the pan to brown. Whilst that's doing fry the onion, ginger and garlic with the cinnamon.
After a few minutes and the vinegar, stock, cayenne, salt (lots of salt) and then the beef. Bring to the boil, cover and put in a low oven until the meat is tender - which will depend on how much you're cooking. For 2, about 2 and a half hours, for 4 more like 3 and a half. Add the coconut milk 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
In the end it turned out ok. Not great, not fantastic and not really very hot. But ok. If I did it again I'd have to throw some chillies in there. Hot ones. But there's other things I'd do before doing this again - no doubt the subject of my next blog posts!