Slow-Cooked Beef Curry

I’m both happy and desperately sad that this recipe is only just reaching my blog now – over a year since its beginning. It is by far my favourite curry; it is so simple, yet absolutely rammed full of richness and flavour. Indeed, the spice list for this particular concoction may be a little shorter than that of other curries, but the quality brought to the dish by the beef is unrivalled. Not only is beef a far more pleasing ingredient to cook with than chicken breast, the most overrated cut of meat there is, the fat found in braising beef has the happy effect of thickening and enriching the sauce. When served with my recently posted mango chutney this is one recipe not to be missed, assuming you’re not a vegetarian.

While we’re milling around the subject of assumption, I thought you might all like to have a little whistle-stop update about my garden. Our cherry tree is reasonably close to bearing fruit, as is our strawberry plant. The apple tree is preparing itself for the growing of a preposterous amount of fruit, considering its size, and our runner beans are poking their green heads through the soil as we speak. Our three chickens are still thriving, though their eggs are far from cracking (my apologies). Indeed, perhaps they would best be described as three old spinsters desperately clinging to their primary function.

In other news, the Olympic torch stopped for the night in our town – today it leaves for north Wales before going on to England and then Scotland. I’m sure you’ll hear more from me regarding the travels of the least reliable eternal flame in existence, since Katherine’s dad is to be a torchbearer sometime in July (I think). How very exciting!

Anyway, back to the curry! One would assume that the beef is the one and only star of the show in this particular dish, that is not so. There is another extremely prominent flavour in the shape of seven or eight cardamom pods which succeed in accompanying the beef in immaculate fashion. Indeed, this really is a recipe which favours the cardamom lovers among you. If you’re not such a fan the pods may be omitted, but the curry will certainly be missing a rather special ingredient. Though, I can’t see how anyone could detest cardamom – please let me know if you don’t like it so I can castigate you severely.

Slow-Cooked Beef Curry

Serves 5-6


• 600g braising beef, cut into chunks

• 2 onions, finely chopped

• Oil

• 1 red pepper, finely sliced

• 1 green pepper, finely sliced

• 2 cloves of garlic, mashed

• 2 fresh chillies

• A large knob of fresh ginger, finely chopped

• 1 ½ tsp ground cumin

• 1 tsp chilli flakes

• 7-8 cardamom pods crushed

• 2 tins of peeled plum tomatoes

• 1 tbsp tomato puree

• 1 beef stock cube

• Enough water to nearly cover the beef

• Salt and pepper to taste

• Fresh coriander to serve


1. Begin by mildly heating any non-stick saute pans which you have and frying the onions, cumin, chilli flakes, garlic, ginger, and cardamom in a generous amount of oil. After 5 minutes add the beef and cook until browned. Tip in the tomatoes, tomato puree, stock cube, water, peppers and fresh chillies. Cover and cook for an hour.

2. After an hour remove the lid and reduce slowly for a further 1-2 hours, depending on time constraints or urges. Once reduced right down, though far from dry, season to taste and serve with fresh coriander and rice.

Cost: As you all know, I am a big fan of the cheaper cuts of meat – they are simply perfect for dishes like this since they respond particularly well to a lengthy cooking process. Happily, and somewhat obviously, cheap cuts of meat are cheap, which makes this dish cheap. Indeed, dinner enough for six should set one back a trifling £7.20 – a mere £1.20 per portion!

90 comments on “Slow-Cooked Beef Curry

  1. lorrielorrieb
    May 28, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Spectacular!! Well done!

  2. Chica Andaluza
    May 28, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Beautiful, my tummy is rumblng at the thought of it! And how exciting about Katherine´s father being a torch bearer, look forward to hearing more about it.

    • Spoon Feast
      May 28, 2012 at 10:14 pm

      Me Too! Both being hungry and hearing more about the torch bearer, what an opportunity!

  3. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    May 28, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    What an awesome garden. The unsubscribing resubscribing trick worked too. Glad to see you here and on Facebook.

    • frugalfeeding
      May 28, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      What unsubscribing resubscribing trick?

    • frugalfeeding
      May 28, 2012 at 6:34 pm

      Oh I see – sorry! That’s odd! A bit annoying too, my view have been slightly down recently…

      • baconbiscuit212
        May 28, 2012 at 8:52 pm

        Are you talking about blogs no longer updating in the wordpress reader? I have been having this problem for months! The unsubscribing, subscribing thing works, but it didn’t work for me all the time.

        • frugalfeeding
          May 31, 2012 at 9:30 am

          Yes – it’s annoying isn’t it?! And I’m getting far fewer views from wordpress and far fewer comments – it’s because the tag reader has changed…

          • baconbiscuit212
            May 31, 2012 at 8:12 pm

            It is so annoying! I hope it gets fixed soon.

          • frugalfeeding
            June 5, 2012 at 11:29 pm

            I think it has been… I think.

  4. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    May 28, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Darn good looking curry too!

  5. cookinginsens
    May 28, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Nice looking pictures.

    • frugalfeeding
      May 31, 2012 at 9:30 am

      Thanks, Rosemary – always the highest praise coming from you.

  6. thesinglegourmetandtraveller
    May 28, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Great curry 🙂

  7. baconbiscuit212
    May 28, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    This curry look amazing! I love the mix of spices that you have here, including the seven or eight cardamom pods. Yum.

    And those spinster hens look like they still have some eggs in them. If you’ve been laying eggs your whole life, it’s hard to stop just because you’re old 😉 Like taking cars away from the elderly!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 31, 2012 at 9:29 am

      Thanks, Daisy! Haha – I suppose it is… I wouldn’t know… Haha – what a great comment 🙂

      • baconbiscuit212
        May 31, 2012 at 8:15 pm

        Once, after a big family dinner and a glass or two of wine, my grandfather started heading to his car. I asked him if he was okay driving and he said, “Daisy, I’ve been driving under the influence since before you were born!”

        He did eventually have to give the car up though. After a bunch of teenagers rear-ended him. I think he takes a great deal of pride in knowing that the accident was not his fault!

        • frugalfeeding
          June 5, 2012 at 11:29 pm

          Haha – Grandparents are so funny. That’s a shame – I bet he does!

  8. Margarita
    May 28, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Love your garden! The spices in the curry look awesome…and since I no longer eat beef, may try with some nice, fat portobello mushrooms. Congratulations to Katherine’s dad on being a torch bearer!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 31, 2012 at 9:28 am

      Thanks – it’s looking lovely and green. That sounds like a great variation!

  9. putneyfarm
    May 28, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Nice recipe. We just bought 1/4 of a grass-fed cow so we need recipes for the braising beef. Glad your garden is doing well. Hope your cherries are good…

    • frugalfeeding
      May 31, 2012 at 9:26 am

      Thanks! Oh yes, this would work brilliantly! You’ll see something from my cherries, I’m sure.

  10. thekalechronicles
    May 28, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    This is beautiful, Nick. I would eat this if I knew where the cow came from.

    • frugalfeeding
      May 31, 2012 at 9:25 am

      Thanks, Sharyn. What do you mean? This particular beef is good quality Welsh meat.

      • thekalechronicles
        May 31, 2012 at 1:18 pm

        Not referring to your Welsh cow, Nick, but to the beef available in the United States. We won’t eat beef from feed lots, so we need to know who raised a steer before we buy or eat beef. We eat it seldom.

  11. Bibliopharm
    May 29, 2012 at 1:01 am

    Since it’s your favorite curry recipe, I’ll definitely need to give it a try!

  12. Eha
    May 29, 2012 at 1:31 am

    Being an inveterate curry eater from every part of Asia for decades shall surely try the recipe! Thanks!! Love the cardamom. Wonder whether there is quite enough heat in this for me: well, that can be adjusted 🙂 ! The Olympics: simply can’t wait, but first have to stay up three weeks’ of nights to see the ‘Tour de France’!!!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 31, 2012 at 9:25 am

      Oh please do – I think it’ll do me proud :D. I couldn’t comment, but yes it’s obviously very changeable. Oh yes – I love the tour (my girlfriend enjoys cycling), plus the French Open and Wimbledon…

  13. lisacostabirnaturopathsa
    May 29, 2012 at 2:06 am

    Yum looks delicious!

  14. lisacostabirnaturopath
    May 29, 2012 at 2:07 am

    Yum looks delicious

  15. Juls
    May 29, 2012 at 6:15 am

    I see you are enjoying your new camera there Sir!

  16. Val
    May 29, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Great looking curry, I think I’ll make it tonight… I better get started!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 31, 2012 at 9:23 am

      Thanks! You should make it – it’s so nice.

      • Val
        May 31, 2012 at 9:43 am

        I did and the whole family enjoyed it. A nice change from our usual chicken curries.

        • frugalfeeding
          June 5, 2012 at 11:36 pm

          Fantastic. Yes, chicken curry is often a little overrated.

  17. Willow
    May 29, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Mmm, love curry! And cardommom, of course. Also, you’re my hero for using the word ‘castigate’ in a blog post. 😉

    • frugalfeeding
      May 31, 2012 at 9:22 am

      Isn’t it just the most amazing spice, Willow? Haha, thanks. It’s a good word.

  18. susartandfood
    May 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    My other half loves curry – have to try this

  19. recimplicity
    May 29, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Yum, I love curry!
    Also your chickens are so pretty! What breed are they? My family recently bought buff orpingtons that are now producing eggs regularly

    • frugalfeeding
      May 31, 2012 at 9:22 am

      I think most people do :). thanks! I have no idea, we’ve forgotten… I bet you love your chickens – we’ve grown quite attached to them.

  20. TasteFood
    May 29, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    I adore curries, and this sounds fantastic. Great inspiration.

    • frugalfeeding
      May 31, 2012 at 9:19 am

      Thanks! I adore a good curry – this one was lovely.

  21. Megan
    May 29, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    I’m excited to try this this week!!!

  22. Shira
    May 29, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Wow Nick – love the changes to the look of the blog! (Or is it just that everything looks 100 times better on my new computer?!) Too funny we were both thinking curry on the same day…come to think of it I should really try your mango chtney with some of the leftovers from our s this week, they would go very well together! Alas, I am sure this dish is divine, but not for this hardcore veggie – though I am quite sure the husband would happily devour it 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      May 31, 2012 at 9:13 am

      Thanks, Shira! Might be a combination of both :D. Jealous of the computer. you have to try the chutney – a few people have offered to buy some :D. Yes, sorry about the beef…

  23. Shira
    May 29, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Er – spelling – opps!

  24. Kat
    May 29, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    The curry and the meat look just delicious – I want to grab a plate of the screen. Cardamom is one of my favorite spices (I can never resist its aroma).

    • frugalfeeding
      May 31, 2012 at 9:12 am

      Thanks! It was amazing :). Isn’t it a great spice? so delicious.

  25. thebigfatnoodle
    May 29, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    Lovely to see your passion in the kitchen remains undimished. This looks awesome – I’m not normally a fan of beef curry because it can dry out quite easily but this looks wonderful and rich.

    • frugalfeeding
      May 31, 2012 at 9:10 am

      Oh yes, it has! Nice to have a comment from you :). Thanks – it was so moist and delicious.

  26. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial
    May 30, 2012 at 1:54 am

    Oooh, I bet this would freeze brilliantly as well! What a great garden you have! I would SO love to have a cherry tree in the backyard. Our chookies are getting old too – laying fewer and fewer eggs – but they’re still digging the garden up for us, which is the main thing!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 31, 2012 at 9:10 am

      yes, it would :). Thanks, Celia! We still get regular eggs, not sure how, but 1 has stopped laying and the eggs are a little watery…

  27. allythebell
    May 30, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Fun! i’m going to try this with my own mango chutney. The torch for the 2010 Olympics was exchanged right in our driveway two years ago — very exciting!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 31, 2012 at 9:08 am

      Great idea! Thanks so exciting and rather convenient 😀

  28. Kate
    June 4, 2012 at 10:59 am

    We are just heading into winter here in the Antipodes… and I am hankering for a nice warming curry so this has gone on the meal plan for one night next week!

    • frugalfeeding
      June 23, 2012 at 1:57 pm

      Yes, you should try it – definitely comforting and warming.

  29. narf77
    June 8, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Delicious looking curry but we found that cardamom can most definately become overwhelming in a hurry if you don’t watch how much you are using. We used some delicious home made “rooster” stock to make Mulligatawny soup and using a recipe that we gleaned online, we proceeded to follow it to the letter…looked amazing…tasted…err tasted… not so good! Too much, no WAY too much cardamom and it totally overwhelmed the taste of the soup…4 large cans of tomatoes, 2 cans of coconut cream later and a handful each of cumin and coriander dry fried was needed to even reduce the flavour. Cardamom is like coriander…you CAN have too much of a good thing…go easy folks, its like being drunk… fun when you are up and disgusting when you tip over the edge! 😉

    • frugalfeeding
      June 19, 2012 at 10:57 pm

      Thanks! Oh yes, it can. It’s good to count them in and count them out too. I do tend to be careful with it.

  30. Chez Foti
    June 18, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Hi Nick, I’m a new Frugal Feeding Fan and made this curry at the weekend (despite it being 28 degrees here!) and can honestly say it’s totally fabulous. I adore fragrant cardamoms and this recipe truely celebrated them! Thank you so much, it’s the best curry I’ve made in a long long time! Can’t wait to try more Frugal recipes, Louisa

    • frugalfeeding
      June 19, 2012 at 10:04 pm

      Awesome! Thanks so much! I; really glad you liked it, it;s probably my favourite curry. Let me know if you make anything else.

  31. avegiepatch
    June 24, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Thank you for liking my post…..this looks delish wil give it a go thank you! by the way my cousin is off to the Olympics!!! very exciting!! selected for the Australian women’s water polo team!! go girls!!

  32. Becky C.
    June 28, 2012 at 1:07 am

    This recipe looks great! I’m a fan of the cheaper cuts of meat, but sometimes they still turn out tough when they are cooked too fast. Is this recipe really spicy? I like the flavor of curry, but not anything really hot….. Thanks!

    • frugalfeeding
      July 5, 2012 at 11:41 pm

      Thanks! They have to be cooked for ages, yes. Not very hot, no!

      • Becky C.
        July 6, 2012 at 11:06 pm

        Thanks! i appreciate your advice! If you don’t mind, I’m going to “Steal” this recipe to try!

  33. Karista
    July 2, 2012 at 12:30 am

    Not sure how I missed this post but so glad I found it! This curry looks divine and I love the use of the cardamom pods! Absolutely lovely dish Frugal. 🙂

  34. margueriteeats
    July 11, 2012 at 3:55 am

    this looks so good! i can’t wait to try it out!

    • frugalfeeding
      July 16, 2012 at 9:00 pm

      Thanks! It was great, you’d enjoy it I’m sure.

  35. eatdrinklovelife
    October 28, 2012 at 7:40 am

    It sounds yummy. I have been cooking without using tomatoes, unless I cook for guests who want it only moderately spiced. So time to test with tomatoes.

    • frugalfeeding
      October 28, 2012 at 10:46 pm

      Thanks! The tomatoes work well, particularly after a lot of cooking.

  36. shelleyb
    December 7, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    I plan to cook this tomorrow in my slow cooker (frugal meat and power consumption) … and the leg of beef is from my farm shop so carbon friendly too.

    • frugalfeeding
      December 9, 2013 at 6:47 pm

      That sounds delicious – I love this recipe 😀

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