Thursday, January 10, 2013

Curry Saves the Day - what to do with that too dry roast beast

Roast meat turn out tough and dry?  Sounds like it's time for Curry to save the day!

mmmm curry!

I cooked a roast moose (at least I think it was moose, probably was moose, although it might have been elk now that I think about it, or deer, or ... no I don't think it was boar, but it could have been.  But come to think about it, it was probably moose) the other night.  Made a major miscalculation in the cooking time and ended up with a lump of something that could possibly pass for a rock.  It wasn't burnt, just dry and tough as, well, a rock.

This is not the first time I've messed up a roast beast, and won't be the last I'm sure.  But it's a waste to toss out the meat just because it's tough.  Instead, let's use this as an excuse to make curry.

Here is a variation on The Captain's curry recipe.  There are hundreds of versions of this curry, but tonight, a simple version perfect for tenderizing overcooked meat.

Feel free to use this recipe to salvage any ruined meat, from dry duck breast to mystery roast, and anything in between.  Although, I would hesitate to use fish in this.  Please don't use burnt meat, as this recipe amplifies the burnt flavour.

This is also best when cooked in a slowcooker.  Most of the curry recipes I have don't mind being on the stove, oven or slowcooker, but since the main goal of this recipe is to tenderize the dessicated meat, a slow cooker is by far the best for this.

Curry Saves the Day: Basic Curry Recipe for Salvaging Over Cooked Meat

1 to 2 lb of over-cooked, dry meat (not burnt)
1 tin chick peas
1 tin mixed beans
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 onion
Pataks mild curry paste (or curry paste of your preference)

  • In the slow cooker, place the chickpeas (strained), mixed beans (strained) and chopped tomatoes (as is).  Keep the tomato tin to one side, don't rinse it yet.
  • Chop up your onion very fine, so that the pieces are about half the size of a chickpea.  Add to the pot.
  • Chop the meat up into about 3/4" cubes.  Don't get all fussy here, it doesn't need to be precise.  Add it to the pot.
  • Take the can that had the tomatoes in it, fill about 1/2 full with water and add 2 Tbs of curry paste (more if you like it hot).  Mix until the curry is blended with the water.  Add to the slow cooker and mix all the ingredients together.
  • If you have automatic setting on the slow cooker, use this, otherwise, cook on high for about 1 hour (no more than 4 hours) and then turn down to low for between 4 to 10 hours, or until you are ready to eat it.  This is one of those recipes that you want it to bring to a moderate boil first, then cook low and slow.  The longer you cook it (and the smaller you chop the meat) the more tender the meat will become.  Sir at least once during the cooking, to distribute the moisture.  Check every couple of hours to make sure that it isn't getting dry, if it starts to dry out around the edges, then add 1/4 cup of water (or even wine), and stir in well.
Serve on a bed of rice.

You cannot actually see it here, but the bowl is half full of rice
 with curry on top

This is even better the next day.  Will easily keep in the fridge up to 3 days, reheat thoroughly before serving.

Healthy Eating: Yes, I would consider this a healthy meal, especially if served with a salad.  Green veg is important for balance and colour.  But even on it's own once or twice a week would be fine.   

Bento Friendly: Very much so.  Great for single layer bento box.  A layer of fresh rice, with the re-heated curry on top.  Let cool completely before putting the lid on, will keep well all day in all but the hottest of weather.  

Affordable Cooking!  This comes out to about $1 to $2.10 per very large serving depending on the quality/price of the canned beans you use, including the coast of running the slow cooker all day and the cost of the rice.  That's not including the cost of the meat since it would have been tossed in the trash otherwise.  The electricity used by the slow cooker is about 40 cents for the 8 hours we had it on, but we have low rates here, so it might be as more where you live.  It is considerably less to cook this in the slow cooker than in the oven or on the stove, unless of course you have the oven on for other reasons.

This could be made with dry ingredients   Dry chickpeas and beans and such are cheaper to buy, but if we are talking affordability, then they coast more (energy bill) to rehydrate than buying tinned beans, chickpeas, &c.   

Cooking for Allergies: This is fine for most allergies, however, you do need to pay attention to the ingredients in the curry paste.  Most curry paste includes soy, or 'vegetable oil' which is usually soy.  I've found that Pataks curry paste made in the UK says 'vegetable oil' but does not give the same reaction that soy oil does.  When in doubt, make your own curry paste using one of the awesome recipes in Jamie's Food Revolution

This curry although mild in spicy, can aggravate irritable bowel related problems due to the high fibre content.    Eat in moderation if you are not use to a high fibre diet.

No comments:

Post a Comment