Thursday, August 31, 2017

Guyanese Beef Short Rib Curry: Rich & Aromatic

Inspired by the fabulous curried beef short ribs served at the Keating Channel Pub & Grill, I always look 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 this Beef Short Rib Curry was absolutely delicious. The short ribs are enormously tender, and the sauce is delicately flavoured, velvety smooth and richly aromatic. Served with warm naan, rotis or rice ensures that this luscious can be enjoyed to the very last drop.

Guyanese 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, such as 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.

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