Indian Beef with Cauliflower and Peppers
Published by Robert Rose
If you have a hankering for something that resembles a beef curry but is more nutritious, here’s the recipe for you. I like to serve this over brown basmati rice, with a cucumber salad on the side.
To toast cumin and coriander seeds: Place seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat and toast, stirring, until fragrant and cumin seeds just begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Immediately transfer to a mortar or a spice grinder and grind.
This quantity of black peppercorns provides a nicely zesty result. If you prefer a less peppery dish, reduce the quantity by half.
In my opinion, cauliflower needs to be cooked quickly in rapidly boiling salted water. Cook it until it’s tender to the bite, about 3 minutes after the water has returned to a boil, drain and add to the slow cooker.
This dish can be partially prepared before it is cooked. Heat oil and complete Step 2. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to cook, either brown the beef as outlined in Step 1 or add it to the stoneware without browning. Stir well and continue with Step 3.
Mindful Morsels: When cooking beef, trim as much of the visible fat from the meat to reduce the calories and the amount of saturated fat you consume. About half the calories in untrimmed beef come from the fat.
A century ago Mark Twain called cauliflower “a cabbage with a college education.” Today, he might describe it as one with a graduate degree in pharmacology. Like its close relative broccoli, cauliflower is a member of the Cruciferous family of vegetables, which was among the first groups of foods to be strongly identified as cancer fighters. Among its arsenal of phytochemicals, cauliflower contains sulforaphane, which helps the liver to neutralize toxic substances before they can become cancerous. Its other strong chemopreventor is indoles, which help to prevent cancers of the breast and prostate, in particular, by blocking estrogen receptors. And if that isn’t enough, cauliflower is also rich in vitamin C, folacin and fiber, three nutrients that have been linked with protection against cardiovascular disease as well as cancer.
Cooking Methodslow cooking
OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationmain course
Taste and Textureherby, hot & spicy, meaty, savory, spiced
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil (approx.)
- 2 lbs (1 kg) trimmed stewing beef, cut into ½-inch (1 cm) cubes
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) minced ginger root
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 piece (2 inches/5 cm) cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp (5 ml) cracked black peppercorns (see Notes)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp (25 ml) cumin seeds, toasted (see Notes)
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) coriander seeds
- 1 cup (250 ml) beef stock
- 2 tbsp (25 ml) tomato paste
- Salt, optional
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 to 2 long green chile peppers, minced
- 4 cups (1 l) cooked cauliflower florets (see Notes)
- Plain yogurt
- ¼ cup (50 ml) toasted slivered almonds
- ½ cup (125 ml) finely chopped cilantro leaves
Works in slow cookers from 3½ to 6 quarts
In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Add beef, in batches and cook, stirring, adding additional oil if necessary, until browned, about 3 minutes per batch. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware.
Reduce heat to medium. Add additional oil to pan if necessary. Add onions to pan and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add ginger root, garlic, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, bay leaves and toasted cumin and coriander and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add beef stock and tomato paste and bring to a boil, scraping up brown bits in the pan. Season to taste with salt, if using. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware. Stir well.
Cover and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours or on High for 3 to 4 hours, until beef is tender. Discard bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Add red pepper and chile pepper and stir well. Stir in cooked cauliflower. Cover and cook on High for 20 minutes, until pepper is tender. To serve, garnish with a drizzle of yogurt, toasted almonds and cilantro.
Substitute 4 cups (1 l) broccoli florets for the cauliflower.
2006 Judith Finlayson