By Annie Weisz
Curry is one of those foods that can take on so many meanings. There are many different types of curries, mostly originating from Thailand and India. Curry isn’t technically a dish in India, but rather a term invented by the British to encompass a wide variety of Indian dishes. It comes from the Indian word “kari,” which means sauce. Since this recipe is my own concoction, I’m not really sure what other category this dish falls under. Thus, it will be named a “curry.”
This recipe starts with a relatively “tough” cut of meat – a sirloin roast. Sirloin comes from a very highly used muscle – the quadricep. On an animal like pronghorn, this muscle gets used a lot. Highly used muscles benefit from low and slow cooking to break down those tough muscle fibers and connective tissues. This recipe cooks for about 6 hours in a dutch oven and turns those tough chunks of meat into tender, flavorful morsels. Tip: cut meat while still mostly frozen and let thaw the rest of the way on a paper towel-lined plate in the fridge. This helps remove any off flavors and helps the meat brown.
For the spices I chose cumin, smoked paprika, turmeric, coriander, aleppo pepper, and cinnamon along with salt, pepper, and other aromatics like garlic and onion. It was pure torture smelling it cook all day. I also added dried cherries and a bit of honey for some sweetness to complement the rich flavors. The cherries kind of melt into the sauce and you don’t really know they’re there unless you’re looking for them.
There’s something I love about a good yogurt sauce. They’re so simple to make but they instantly elevate dishes like this with a bright tanginess. This dish is so full of rich flavor that it needs something a little different. Yogurt sauce with lemon and parsley certainly fits the bill here. Don’t skip it!
I don’t think it’s possible to eat curry without rice. Jasmine rice is one of my favorites. It’s full of flavor and makes the perfect bed to ladle the curry sauce over. Served with fresh naan, this recipe makes the perfect meal for a cozy winter day.
- 1 ¾ lb pronghorn sirloin roast, cut into 1 inch chunks (or any other stew meat)
- 2 tbsp lard
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp coriander
- ½ tsp aleppo pepper flakes
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 5 medium carrots, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 3 tbsp flour
- 5 cups stock
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- ½ cup dried cherries
- 1 ½ cups cooked garbanzo beans (canned or dried)
Lemon Yogurt Sauce
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- ¼ cup parsley
- 6 cups cooked jasmine rice
- 6 pieces warm naan
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 275°F.
Heat lard in dutch oven over medium high heat. Add in cubed meat. Tip: cut meat while still mostly frozen and let thaw the rest of the way on a paper towel-lined plate in the fridge. This helps remove any off flavors and helps the meat brown.
Cook meat, stirring occasionally until meat is browned on all sides. Add in all spices except cinnamon stick. Stir to combine and continue cooking 5 minutes. Remove meat to plate and set aside.
Add oil to dutch oven. Add in carrots, onion, and garlic. Stir frequently until softened and any spices stuck to the pan are released and mixed in with the vegetables, about 5 minutes. Add in tomato paste and flour. Stir to combine and cook an additional 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add meat back to dutch oven. Add in stock, vinegar, honey, cinnamon stick, and cherries. Bring to boil. Cover and put in oven. Cook for 5-6 hours, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender and sauce is thickened. Add cooked garbanzo beans in the last 30 minutes of cooking.
While meat is cooking, prepare yogurt sauce. Add all ingredients to mini food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To each bowl, add rice and curry. Top with yogurt sauce and parsley. Serve with warm naan.