To (eat) Beef or not (eat) Beef? A lot of us folks I am sure ponder about this question. Growing up beef was not cooked in our home. But we did eat some very delicious beef curry on a routine basis at our close family friends’ home. They were Kerala Christians and hence Beef was very common in their meals. Every year we would celebrate Christmas in their home and spicy beef stir fry was one of the specialties served. Chinnama aunty and John uncle would create a slew of dishes – beef, pork, chicken and fish with an unique blend of spices for each of the different meats. This was one treat that we kids waited for all year! Plus when the six of us (three girls and three boys!) got together, time just flew by -there was a lot of chatting, good natured teasing (with some pillow fighting involved), movies, board games and lots and lots of jokes! Afternoon lunch session easily extended into evening tea and to dinner with the left overs. Oh boy those were the days! I am so grateful to God that our families are still in touch and our respective spouses are all in tune too so that whenever we visit India now we still try to replicate those times. That’s what life is all about, isn’t it?
OK so back to the beef – is it healthy or not? Based on my research (I have been reading a lot of articles and books in the past year trying to reverse my rheumatoid arthritis by eating a healthy diet), it seems that grass-fed beef does not increase cholesterol and on the contrary it has beneficial omega-3 fatty acids that help to control inflammation. 100% grass-fed beef comes from cows who have grazed in pasture year-round rather than being fed a processed diet for much of their life. Grass feeding improves the quality of beef, and makes the beef richer in omega-3 fats, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and CLA (a beneficial fatty acid named conjugated linoleic acid1.
So now that I am on a Paleo diet, we regularly cook beef – of course we only get grass fed beef – Our local BJs club have started stocking grass fed beef. This recipe is my attempt to replicate chinamma aunty’s tasty beef curry.
Pressure cooking the meat makes it really tender and moist. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you could use a slow cooker, an instant pot or a regular cooking pot and cook the meat beforehand.Thinly sliced coconut slices and coconut oil add to the flavor of this dish. In case you are getting intimidated wondering where you are going to get fresh coconut and then cut it open to get the slices, relax… you can get frozen coconut slices at any Indian grocers 🙂 This recipe does taste pretty close to hers although next time I visit india I will try to get the exact recipe from her. Aunty is the epitome of kindness! She has been sending me quotes from the Bible regularly and has been praying for my health ever since she learnt about my RA. I am so grateful to her and to God for all such kind souls like her who give me courage and positivity everyday to deal with this disease.
Ending with a recent Bible quote that I received from her which I am in love with:
” Whatever you do, do it from the heart for the Lord and not for people” Colossians 3:23 CEB
- 2 lbs Beef, Chuck roast (about 1 kg), cut into small bite size pieces
- 1 tbsp, thinly sliced ginger
- 6-8 whole black peppercorns
- 4-6 whole cloves
- 2-3 cinnamon sticks
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- ½ cup thinly sliced fresh coconut pieces (or frozen coconut pieces)
- ½ cup water
- 2 tbsp organic extra virgin coconut oil
- 1½ large onion, thinly sliced
- 3 green chillies, slit lengthwise
- 6-8 garlic cloves, chopped finely
- 6-8 fresh curry leaves
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 2 tsp freshly ground fennel powder
- 1 tbsp garam masala powder
- Wash the beef pieces and add them into a pressure cooker. Add all the ingredients under 'Pressure cooking the meat' to the pressure cooker, stir well to mix all the spices well and then close the cooker and cook on medium heat for 4-5 whistles. Turn heat off and keep aside to cool.
- In a large kadai (wok style pan), heat the coconut oil. Add the sliced onions to the oil. Stir for 2 minutes and then add the chopped garlic, green chillies and the curry leaves. Continue sautéing for another 4-5 minutes till the onions turn crispy. Add the salt and coriander powder and again stir for 1 more minute. Now open the cooker and add the cooked beef along with the stock into this pan. Add the fennel powder and the garam masala powder and continue to cook on low to medium heat for a 10-15 minutes until most of the water(stock) is evaporated and you get a thickish gravy with the oil separating out. Turn heat off and transfer to a serving dish. Serve hot as an appetizer or serve with rice and dal.