08 January, 2009

The Most Delicious Meat Cubes

Here's a recipe we tried tonight from Madhur Jaffrey called, simply, "The Most Delicious Meat Cubes". And, God help me, they are the most delicious meat cubes I've ever had. You'll want to prepare the ingredients ahead of time because things happen quickly. I also modified the recipe a bit.

Get a pan with a cover. It should be large enough to hold the meat and a fair amount of liquid. In the pan, put

1. enough oil of your choice to cover the bottom of the pan.
Get it good and hot, then throw in
2. 4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped or pressed,
3. 1/2-inch piece of ginger root, chopped or grated,
4. 15 fresh curry leaves.
The curry leaves are the hard part here. We got them at the Indian store a few blocks from our house. Jaffrey says use them "if available", but since we've never used these before, I think they might be the secret to the deliciousness. Do not substitute curry powder here! Curry powder and curry leaves have nothing to do with each other, apparently, except that sometimes one or the other is used in Indian cooking. Some reading on the web tells me that you can perhaps substitute basil or Kaffir lime leaf, but if you can't get curry leaves it's probably better to just leave them out all together.

Stir this mixture a bit. When the garlic browns, add
5. 1 lb. meat, cubed.
We used pork, 'cause it's cheaper, but lamb, beef, or goat would probably work just as well. Our cubes were about an inch by an inch, but anything in that range would be fine, I think. If you increase the amount of meat, make sure to increase all the spices and other ingredients by the same ratio! Stir the meat around and add
6. 2 tsp garam masala,
7. 1 tsp ground (grand?) cumin,
8. 1/4 tsp turmeric,
8. 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper,
9. 1/2 tsp salt,
10. 2 hot green chiles, chopped.
For the chile, we used the green ones that are about 2 inches long that you can get at Asian markets. In general, something hotter than a jalepeno is preferred and leave the seeds in. Stir this all together so it gets mixed well. Then add
11. 1 cup water,
cover, and put the heat on low. Leave it be for about 50 minutes. It should be at a good simmer, with visible bubbles, but they shouldn't be too big.

After 50 minutes, take off the cover, jack it up to high heat, and cook off nearly all of the liquid. At least to the point where you have a really rich, thick sauce. Then take it off the heat and stir in
12. half a lemon's worth of juice,
13. freshly ground black pepper.
Unfortunately it was devoured too quickly to get a picture, but if we make it again, I'll be sure to put something up. Serve with, you know, rice or naan or something.


Elliot said...

Thanks, Ezra. This looks really good!

spencer said...

And I was just about to write a post excoriating him!