In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

How to Make a Caribbean-Inspired Curry Beef with Pigeon Peas.

As a lil fella on the islands, I had a love hate relationship with pigeon peas. Allow me to explain, nothing beats a Chicken Pelau made with fresh shelled pigeon peas, so too a delicious offering of curry peas with hot Sada Roti. Frozen (shelled) or the stuff in the tin (can) simply cannot compare. However I HATED shelling (removing the peas from the pod) with an absolute passion.

3 tablespoon curry powder
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 tablespoon garam masala
3/4 tablespoon roasted geera (cumin)
3/4 tablespoon anchar masala
1 cup water (for curry slurry)
6 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 scotch bonnet pepper (chopped)
1 medium onion (sliced)
2 tablespoon Caribbean Green Seasoning
1 teaspoon grated ginger
2-3 tablespoon olive oil
2.5 lbs beef
3/4 tablespoon salt (adjust)
3 cups pigeon peas (from frozen)
8-10 cups water

Notes! Please use the video below to follow along as much more about the recipe is discussed there. I used a cheap cut of boneless beef, however I find that you get a deeper flavor by using beef with bones. Use as much Scotch Bonnet or whatever hot pepper you like or can source or you know you can handle.

In a bowl add the curry powder, black pepper, ground roasted geera, garam masala, anchar masala and 1 cup of water. Mix well to combine. Then add the onion, ginger, garlic, Caribbean Green Seasoning and scotch bonnet pepper to the bowl and mix again.

Heat the oil in a deep/large pot on a medium flame and add the curry slurry we created. Allow this to cook uncovered for about 5-7 minutes. The goal is to burn off the liquid, until your spoon can divide the curry on the bottom of the pot (as explained in the video). The curry slurry will go to a darker color sort of paste.

At this point add the beef pieces. In the video I explained that I washed the cubed beef with the juice of a lemon (a lime or 1/2 cup of plain white vinegar will also work) and cool water. After which I drained it dry. Stir well to coat the beef pieces with that lovely curry base we created. Cover the pot and cook on a medium/low flame for 10-15 minutes.

It will spring it’s own natural juices.

Remove the lid and turn up the heat to medium/high. The goal is to burn off all of that liquid until we can see the oil we started with (hopefully). This will further infuse the pieces of beef with that curry base.

Add the pigeon peas to the pot. They were frozen peas, so I had them thawing in cool water, which I also used to give them a wash. Rinse and drain.

Mix well to coat the peas with the curry as we did with the pieces of beef. Then top with water and bring to a boil. Don’t forget to add the salt.

You’ll need to have some patience moving forward now as we want both the beef and peas tender. I mean falling apart with the use of our fork. This means we’ll bring it to a boil then reduce the heat to a rolling boil/simmer and cook anywhere from 2 hours to 2.5 hours.

I had the lid on slightly ajar and you’ll need to keep an eye on the liquid level in the event you need to add more water.

The two sort of personalization with the recipe is.. taste and adjust salt at the end and determine if the gravy’s consistency (thickness) is to your liking. I recommend that you use your spoon to crush some of the pigeon peas to help thicken the gravy. However, do keep in mind that the residual heat in the pot will further cook this and as it cools, it will thicken further.

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