Thursday, January 24, 2013

Curry Saves the Day: Basic Goat Curry Recipe

This is the curry before it goes in the oven.
As usual, I didn't have a chance to take a finished photo before it was wolfed down/
We often have work parties here on the farm when there's a large job to get done.  Lots of people come out to help, which means I need to make a lunch that has a lot of high energy food, is easy to make, isn't fussy about the serving time, and is affordable.

You can make this with any dark stewing meat.  It takes about 10 minuets or so (depending on how fast you are at pealing and slicing) to prepare in the morning, and cooks slow and low in the oven until lunch time.  You can also cook this on the stove if you like.  It's very flexible.  I'll give directions for both methods.

You can also make this in the slow cooker, but that's more for lunch than dinner.  2 hours on high, 4 plus hours on low.  Delicious.

Another thing, the actual size of the tins does not matter too much. I use 14 oz tins.

1 tin chickpeas
1 tin mixed beans (or beans of your choice)
1 tin crushed tomatoes
2 carrots
4 medium size potatoes (a solid flesh potato like Yukon Gold works best)
Roughly 1 lb goat meat, chopped into stewing size chunks
1 large onion
2 Tbs Pataks mild curry paste (or curry paste of your choice)

  • Drain the beans and chickpeas, poor them into a heavy cast iron pot, or a deep pot with a lid that can go on both the stove or in the oven.
  • Add the contents of the tin of tomatoes to the pot (keep this tin to one side, we will use it later)
  • Chop up the onion fairly fine, so that the chunks of onion are smaller than the chickpeas.  Add to the pot.
  • Peal and chop the carrots into whatever size you like, just not too big.  As you can see, I did mine in half moon slices, fairly thin.  Add to the pot.
  • Peal and chop the potatoes into about 1.5" to 2" chunks.  Add to the pot.  If you don't want to peal them, make sure they are well washed and the eyes gorged out.
  • Add the meat to the pot
  • Fill the empty tin that had the tomatoes in it just over half full of water.  Add the curry paste to the water and mix really well until paste is dissolved .  Top up the tin with more water, and add it all to the pot.
  • Mix everything together really well and place the lid on the pot.  Choose one of the three methods below.
Method 1 - oven only
  • Place in oven at 325F for at least two hours.  Turn it down to 300F after 3 hours.  Stir every two hours or so, checking to see if it needs more moisture.  Will be ready any time after 2 hours, but is best if you cook it about 4 to 5 hours.  Longer is fine so long as you keep an eye on the mosture level.
Method 2 - stove and oven
  • Place on stove, on high heat, bring to boil, stirring every so often.  Simmer for about 30 minuites.
  • Place in oven, still covered, at 300F until ready (at least an hour, no more than 5 hours).  Stir every couple of hours, adding water if it starts to dry out.
Method 3 Stove only
  • Place on the stove with the lid on, on high heat bring to boil.  Simmer for at least an hour, and up to 3 hours.  Stirring every 20 min or so, checking to make sure it's not too dry, add water as needed.

Serve as is, or better still with rice or home made bread.  Goes great with chutney and a simple salad.

This is very popular with kids and adults alike, so long as you don't make it too spicy.

Affordable Cooking: It costs me between $5 to $8 for the entire pot, depending on the quality of the canned beans and price of veg and meat that week.  It will easily feed 8 people, but it's better if you can serve it with a starch like rice (about $1-$2) or home baked bread (about 40 cent for a medium loaf, so say about $1 worth of bread).  Then it will feed 10 hungry people with lots left over for seconds.  

So now we are at about $1 per person, assuming they are going back for seconds.  You might want to splurge on a nice, but simple, salad.

Bento friendly: Left overs go great in bento on a bed of rice and a side of veg.  Heat thoroughly before packing and allow to cool before putting the lid on.  Make sure you use fresh rice.

Allergies: Most curry pastes has soy oil, usually labelled 'vegetable oil'.  Pataks says vegetable oil on it, but the stuff made in the UK does not give me a soy reaction.  It is possible to make your own curry paste, I'll see if I can dig up a recipe that's easy and quick to make.

This is a high fibre meal, so may aggravate people with certain digestive problems.

Healthy eating: Yes I think so.  Beans are very high in trace minerals, fibre, B vits, and other good for you stuff.  There is also a lot of protein in this meal.  This is a high energy meal.  Given how much fibre is in the beans, it's probably best to serve this with white rice or white bread unless everyone who eats this is accustom to a Very high fibre diet.

For a more balanced meal, add a watery green side like lettuce, cabbage, or cucumber salad.  Serve with sauerkraut to make the beans easier to digest. 

Earth Friendly: Moderately so.

If you compare this to say... ordering pizza for everyone, curry is the better option.  But it is important to note that tinned foods have a very heavy footprint (with the transportation, the manufacturing of the tins, &c.).

For a more earth friendly version, you can start with dry beans and chop your own tomatoes.

For a 0 mile impact, grow every ingredient and process them at home, including the chillies needed to make your own curry paste.  It is possible to do it with this recipe, but you may need to alter which beans you use depending on your clime.   Although, this option kind of takes away from the quick and easy nature of this curry recipe - it's up to you how far you want to go.

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