Beef & Potato Curry with Yoghurt Gravy

  • 5 medium red or yellow waxy potatoes, cubed
  • 3 large yellow onions, sliced
  • 3/4 c vegetable oil
  • 2 lbs stewing beef or lamb
  • 2 t garam masala
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 6-8 curry leaves
  • 1 1/4 t cumin seeds
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  •  3 fresh hot green chillies, minced
  • 2 dried red chillies, crushed
  • 2 t grated ginger-root
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 t paprika (not hot)
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 c plain yoghurt
  • 2 1/2 c water
  • chopped green chillies and chopped cilantro to garnish

Cook the sliced onions in a large, deep pot (preferably enameled cast iron) over medium-high heat until browned, about 10-15 minutes. In the meantime, mix the beef or lamb with the garam masala and 3/4 t salt. Wash and cut potatoes. Mix yoghurt with ginger, garlic, red and green chillies, paprika and salt. Very lightly crush cardamom pods, remove seeds and discard the husks.

Remove onions from pot draining out oil as you do so. Remove all but 4 T of oil from pot and set aside. Sauté meat on medium-high until well browned in 2-3 batches depending on size of your pot, adding in some of the reserved oil between batches if needed. During the last batch add in the curry leaves and during the last 2 minutes the cumin and cardamom seeds and cinnamon sticks. Add all the meat back to the pot along with the onions and stir to heat through, 1-2 minutes. Slowly add in the yoghurt mixture and cook for a few minutes until the garlic and ginger are just cooked and the oil separates out from the yoghurt mixture.

Add the water and scrape up any fond that has developed on the bottom of the pot. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until meat is barely tender but not overdone, stirring occasionally so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Add in potatoes and simmer another 20 minutes with the lid off until potatoes are cook through and the sauce has reduced and thickened up. Adjust with salt and add more water if sauce is too thick.

Serve with hot basmati rice, naan, and fresh chopped green chillies and cilantro.

Herb Potato Salad with Bacon

4 lbs small red and/or yellow potatoes, scrubbed

6-7 scallions, sliced on a bias
1/3-1/2 C chopped fresh dill
1/2-2/3 C flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 1/4 C fresh green peas, blanched and cooled if raw, rinsed with cold water if frozen.

12 oz. regular bacon (not peppered or thick sliced)

1/3 C apple cider vinegar
4-6 T extra virgin olive oil (something quite grassy & fruity to match the fresh herbs if you have it. I like the Italian import Viola)
3 T dijon mustard
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Scrub the potatoes and cut them into about 1/2 inch cubes. Make sure you’re using red potatoes (or yellow ones). The large brown (baking) ones are far too starchy for this, and have too substantial a skin. Boil them just until tender and the skin is still firmly attached, but aren’t mushy, because that’s bad for potato salad. Once they’re boiled, drain them and rinse with very cold water until the potatoes are cold. Refrigerate the potatoes for at least a couple of hours.

Wash the herbs, slice the scallions and chop the parsley and dill. If frozen, rinse the peas in cool water for a few minutes until thawed. If they’re fresh, blanch them in salted, boiling water for 1-2 min., remove and plunge into salted ice water to stop the cooking. You want them barely cooked at all, and still quite firm and almost crunchy. Frozen peas won’t be nearly as crunchy, but will still taste great, just be sure not to cook frozen peas at all.

Lay about 4 pieces of bacon together in a pile, slice lengthwise twice, and then slice into very small squares. Continue with the rest of the bacon. Fry on medium in a sauté pan until quite crisp, and then drain on paper towels. Reserve a little bit of the bacon grease to dress the potatoes with. Wait to mix the bacon with the salad until right before serving, else it will get soggy.

Dress the potatoes with the oil & vinegar, herbs, peas, salt and pepper. Add the bacon just before serving, or serve along side to sprinkle on top.

Horseradish Whipped Potatoes

some potatoes, peeled, cut and boiled (When I made this I used 6 medium russets.)
a tablespoon or so of butter
a few teaspoons of cream
some-lots of horseradish
pinches of kosher salt
1 mixer with whipping attachment (preferably stand mixer)

Unceremoniously chuck well boiled potatoes into mixing bowl – if they’re not very well boiled then you’ll get chunks in your potatoes and nobody wants that!!!

Start a-whipping and then add in the butter, then a pinch or 2 of salt, the cream and generous amounts of horseradish. Don’t use the creamy horseradish (this is for sissys) use the strong undiluted stuff. I love horseradish, so I add enough that the potatoes are definitely horseradishy and spicy, and all around delicious. Whip until smooth and creamy.

I like to serve this with steak (as in those rib-eyes I previously posted) and a hearty green like broccoli, broccoli rabe, brussels sprouts, wilted kale, etc.