Sunday, 21 March 2010

A Gift of Peppers, Island-Style Curry Beef

A little while ago we were given the gift of peppers. I love this kind of gift. These are pimento peppers, not to be confused with pimientos which can refer to allspice in some islands or small peppers in others... actually, go ahead and get confused - I certainly do! Trinis also call them seasoning peppers and they are more important than salt to them.
You see, a couple of months back one of hubby's co-workers had the unfortunate luck of sitting beside me at a work function. Food bloggers have the annoying habit of talking about.. food. All the time. Instead of contacting the coordinators to demand that he be seated at the other side of the room next time, he sourced out one of his favourite ingredients for us to try. How sweet is that? Did I mention that he is also as cute as a button? It has no bearing on the story, I'm just sayin'.
With great trepidation I opened up a pepper. It looks like an elongated and pointy habenero, and indeed is related, but has no heat. It is gloriously fruity and floral. I braced myself when I bit into a tiny piece, sure that fire would follow. It didn't. No heat, all flavour.

So I did my best to create a laid-back Island-style stew, cue the steel drums:

Island-Style Curry Beef
for the slow cooker

Vegetable oil
1.5 lb stewing beef, dredged in flour seasoned with salt and pepper
1 large or 2 small onions, large dice
1.5 red peppers, large dice
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
2 pimento (seasoning) peppers - 1 diced fine, 1 diced large
1/4 cup Jerk sauce or marinade
1 tbsp curry powder or to taste
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

Have your medium sized slow cooker close by.
In a sauté pan, heat up 1 tbsp oil and brown dredged stew beef. When browned briefly on all sides, throw into slow cooker.
Add another tbsp oil to the pan and sauté onions, seasoning them with salt - when lightly coloured throw them into the slow cooker.
Throw the diced red peppers into the pan, just for a couple of minutes to soften and get a little colour, season, and throw into the slow cooker. You are now done with the pan.
Into your slow cooker that now has seasoned and sautéed beef, onions and red peppers.. add the tomatoes, sliced carrots, Jerk sauce, the finely diced pimentos, and curry powder. Mix the stew ingredients up, and sprinkle on top the large diced pimentos.
Set on low for about 7 hours.
Season to taste and serve with rice or bread.

Island-Style Curry Beef for Souper Sundays