Curry Beef or Beef Curry (Guyana) is one of those things I rarely cook as I’m not the biggest fan of beef (except for steaks and burgers). And yes, I originally shared a Curry Beef and Curry Beef With Potatoes recipe/s a few years back, but this is my enhanced version of this classic Caribbean curry dish. Wait! If memory serves me correct I think I also shared a version with Potato and Channa (chickpeas) as well.
3-4 lbs beef (cubed – 2 inch pieces)
1 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion (diced)
1 large tomato (diced)
12-15 cloves garlic (smashed)
2 tablespoon Caribbean Green Seasoning
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (geera)
1 scotch bonnet pepper
6-8 sprigs thyme
1 tablespoon Anchar Masala
2 1/2 tablespoon Curry Powder
5-8 curry leaves
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoon chopped cilantro
8 1/2 – 9 1/2 cups water (divided)
Important! If doing this recipe gluten free, please go through the full list of ingredients to make sure they meet with your gluten free dietary requirements. Especially the curry powder you use.
The original way to do this Curry Beef is to season and marinate the beef overnight (as mentioned in the video below), but today I’ll show you a way to avoid that step, without sacrificing that deep rich flavor.
Prep the ingredients and wash the beef with cool water and the juice of a lime or lemon (white vinegar 1/2 cup will work too), then drain and set aside.
Heat the oil in a deep heavy pot on medium heat, add the onion and garlic, then lower the heat to low so we don’t burn anything. After 2-3 minutes, add the cumin seeds and black pepper and continue cooking on that low heat for 2-3 minutes more.
Now add the Caribbean Green Seasoning and cook a further 2-3 minutes, before adding the curry powder. Mix well. Heat still on low as to bloom the spices which makes up a good curry powder.
Stir occasionally as it can burn even on low heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then turn the heat to medium and add 1 1/2 cups water and stir / scrape the bottom of the pot. As it comes back to a boil, reduce to a rolling boil. Add the diced tomato and Anchar Masala (I explained why and where to get the Anchar Masala in the video below) at this point.
Cook on that rolling boil for 4-5 minutes then crank up the heat to burn off all that liquid (see my tip in the video below). When you get back to seeing the oil we started with, it’s time to add the beef to the pot.
With the heat still on medium, stir well to coat the pieces of beef with that wicked curry base we created. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Yes, it will spring it’s own natural juices. Once you get a bubble, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes with the lid on slightly ajar.
To give the finished Curry Beef that deep rooted flavor, it’s important that we remove the lid now, turn up the heat and burn off all that liquid (explained why in the video below). Once you see that dry bottom (pot) with the oil.. its time to add 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil.
The water is to help us get that fork-tender beef you deserve. At this point is when you’ll add the thyme, curry leaves and bay leaves. Additionally, you may also add a small stick of cinnamon and a few slices of ginger if you like those flavors in your curry.
My beef took 1 hour and 45 minutes from this point to be as tender as I like. Depending on the cut of beef and the age of the animal when it was butchered, it may take longer. This is where you do a few things to personalize it to your liking. Adjust the salt, make sure it’s as tender to your liking and you can control the consistency of the finished gravy by cooking longer or leaving as is. Remember the residual heat in the pot will further cook this. Plus as it cools with will thicken. NOTE! Should the beef not be tender or you find that the liquid was burning off quickly – add more water. May I recommend not adding beef stock as it will change the overall flavor of the curry.
Turn off the stove, toss in the cilantro (or Culantro – Shado Beni) and enjoy.
I used a cheap cut of beef and may I recommend you do the same. While I did use boneless beef, some bones in here would contribute to a much deeper flavor. I forgot to mention above that you’ll toss in the scotch bonnet pepper whole when you add the 8 cups of water and try not to break it. Fish it out near the end or BREAK it and release the heat if you like (I did). Near the end you may remove and discard the bay leaves and sprigs from the thyme (same for if you added cinnamon and ginger).
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Superb recipe! I used amchur powder with red chilli powder and garam masala instead of achar masala – came out even better! I used Chief Curry Masala and fresh curry leaves. Cooked it on the hob till the meat was tender – one of the best curries I’ve made!