I think it was my 28th birthday when Bob and I decided to dedicate the day to teaching ourselves how to cook Indian Cuisine. We bought books and ingredients weeks ahead. My fantasy was to spend my day in the kitchen, learning new recipes, spend some time outdoors hiking and skiing, and then sitting down to a fantastic dinner.
The day started early as we began prepping the ingredients. There was no walk, no cross country ski, no time to answer happy birthday phone calls. Some time around 2 the next morning we slapped a few of the dishes we’d slaved at all day onto our plate, took two bites and went to bed too tired to eat them.
So I’ve learned to approach Indian cooking with caution. But on a mission to explore new ways to enjoy ground beef, I began pondering one of the dishes I prepared that day, Beef Vindaloo. Was there a way to do it with ground beef? In under an hour? Now, 15 years wiser, and inspired by TheSpicedLife.com, I set my clock and tackled my revised, bastardized interpretation of Laura Tabacca’s authentic recipe. I did it in 56 minutes on the first try, and that included the slicing, dicing and cooking the rice to pair with it. . And the taste? Fantastic. Better than what I remember from 15 years ago!
2 teaspoons whole brown mustard seeds
2 tablespoons lard or butter
1 pound yellow onions, sliced in rings
1 entire head of garlic, peeled and minced
3 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon garam masala, toasted and ground
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 pounds ground beef
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
4-6 cups cooked rice
Heat a Dutch oven over a medium flame. Add the mustard seeds and cover the pot, allowing them to crackle and pop for about 3 minutes. Add the lard or butter to the pot and swirl to coat. Add the onions and allow them to sizzle and give off their water, then turn the flame down and permit them to caramelize over the next 15 mintues. Once they are well-browned, add the garlic and ginger, saute for one minute, then add all the remaining spices, stirring thoroughly. Add the ground beef and combine thoroughly. Add the cider vinegar and water, cover, and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring often, until the beef is thoroughly cooked through. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve over rice.