Thursday, August 29, 2013

Guyanaese Beef Short Rib Curry

Inspired by some fabulous curried beef short ribs that we had at the Keating Channel Pub & Grill earlier this summer, I have been looking forward to try and reproduce this dish, so exquisitely prepared by Chef Balan Balavijith. I started my investigation by exploring Guyanese curry recipes, and came across a number which featured either goat or chicken, but no short ribs. Not one to give up easily, I simply adapted those recipes and used beef short ribs instead. And I'm so glad I did because the Beef Short Rib Curry was absolutely delicious. The short ribs were enormously tender, and the sauce was delicately flavoured, velvety smooth and richly aromatic. Serving the dish with warm naan, rotis or rice ensures that it can be enjoyed to the very last drop.

2 lbs of short ribs

The short ribs are first seasoned in a marinade of puréed onion, garlic, thyme, 
chili pepper and water

The purée is then poured into a bowl large enough to hold the short ribs

The short ribs, which are cut into 3-inch pieces, are tossed with the seasoning 
and allowed to marinate for half an hour

Meanwhile, a curry masala is prepared with garam masala, cumin, turmeric, allspice 
and curry powder blended with a little water to make a thick paste

The paste is then added to a large saucepan and sautéed with a little oil and cooked 
for a few minutes until the mixture becomes wonderfully fragrant

The seasoned meat is added to the paste and tossed so the beef ribs are well coated

Water is then added and brought to a boil, 
then the pot is covered and the curry is allowed to simmer for 2 1/2 hours

Naan is a great addition to any curried dish, and this store-bought brand is particularly good 

Brushed with a little oil or ghee and sprinkled with sesame seeds, 
the Naan is then baked at 400°F for 5 minutes until it's golden brown

Guyanaese Beef Short Rib Curry 
Serves 4-6

1 medium onion, chopped
1 head of garlic cloves, peeled
leaves of a few sprigs of fresh thyme
desired amount of sambal oeelk chili sauce
1/4 cup water

4 lbs beef short ribs
2 tbsp seasoning (for short ribs)
4 tbsp seasoning (for curry-masala paste)
4 tbsp garam masala
3 tbsp curry powder (I like Bolst's)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp turmeric
1/3 cup boiling water 
6 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
2 tsp salt, or to taste
3 cups boiling water
1 tbsp tomato paste

In a blender, combine the onion, garlic, thyme leaves, pepper, and 1/4 cup water and process until smooth and thick, almost like a smoothie. Cut the beef short ribs into 3-inch pieces and pat dry with paper towel then set aside in a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the seasoning to the short ribs and massage it into the meat. Let rest for 1/2 hour.

In a small bowl, mix the remaining seasoning, garam masala, curry powder, cumin, allspice, turmeric, tomato paste and 1/3 cup water into a thick paste. Heat a medium sized pot with the vegetable oil over medium-high and when the oil starts to shimmer, add the paste and fry for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly until the mixture looks darker and not watery. Add the beef short ribs and stir to coat with the paste. Cook the meat for a minute or so in the fragrant mixture. Season with salt, to taste.

Add 3 cups of water, or enough to cover the meat, and bring to a boil; then lower the heat to simmer, cover and cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is tender. Towards the end, defat the broth if necessary by skimming the surface with a broad spoon. For a thicker gravy, remove the short ribs from the pot, set aside and keep warm, and set the sauce over medium-high and cook until it has reduced and thickened to your taste. Serve with rice or some warm naan.

The original Keating Channel Curried Beef Short Ribs, 
which I was inspired to try and recreate, because they were so delicious