curried beef and potato bento

I used to be such a cooking purist back in the old days…making everything from scratch, even my own blended spices for curries.  Now that I have kids (and a lot of other things) on my metaphorical plate, I’m always looking for quick and easy meal cheats.  This curried beef mince and potato is one such…and so simple I feel ashamed to even call it a recipe!  So I’ll just call it a “method”.  These days I mostly cook by method rather than recipe, unless for a special occasion.     

Saute an onion, a clove or two of garlic, and if liked, some finely grated ginger, in a little oil until softened and translucent.   Add 500 g (1 pound) mince (could be beef, pork, chicken, lamb, or even turkey), and stir until it changes colour.  Add a spoonful of curry powder (Malaysian is my main squeeze these days!) or to taste.  A heaped dessert spoon suits me, but curry powders vary a lot in heat, so sprinkle easy and test.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add a large diced potato (or more if you’re stretching the meal!)  and stir again, until the potato gets into the groove.  Then add some water to cover the bottom of the pan, and simmer until the potatoes are tender.  Check to make sure the water isn’t boiling away too quickly, but you want it to be basically dry by the end, so only add a little water at a time, as necessary.

Am I being too laborious in describing this non-recipe?  I hope not.  At the end you will have a dryish curry that can be served with rice, some spring onions and chutney, as in this bento.  Or in a wrap or rolled flatbread, with salad.  That’s how my kids love it most.  And if you like the method, it’s so easy to experiment by changing the “load out” (see how I’m exposing myself by shamelessly using gaming terms from Dawn of War Retribution).  Try using different meats, or vegetables, like peas, diced carrot or sweet potato, green beans, or even combinations.  I think one vegetable works best, but hey.  Anything goes if it works!  Have fun with it :)!

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10 Responses to curried beef and potato bento

  1. bentolily says:

    The salad looks interesting – this is raw veggies (bell pepper, red cabbage, carrot), lettuce leaves and chickpeas? What a dressing are you using for that mixture?
    It’s a great idea using chutney in a dry curry – now I know how to use up the pumpkin-orange-apple-jam my mum gave to us. That jam is definitely no breakfeast thing.

    • Burinsmith says:

      Yes, all raw, except of course chick peas! I don’t think I had a dressing that day…sometimes when it’s hot like it has been I skip the dressing…but usually I do a homemade balsamic and grapeseed oil dressing, or use Paul Newman Ranch Dressing! That certainly sounds like an exotic “jam”! Not exactly right for toast, but perfect for curry! 🙂 We had some great chutneys in Sri Lanka and India, one was made with red shallot, cooked until thick and syrupy, and was eaten with hoppers and eggs for breakfast. I wish I had asked for the recipe!!!

      • bentolily says:

        Tried the curry at last – without chutney it’s a nothing but with chutney it’s a star. Served it with tortilla wraps. It came out great with that pumpkin “jam”. Also made a salad with chickpeas and a vinaigrette – first time having chickpeas in a salad. For me it’s fine, the husband doesn’t want chickpeas again in salads…

      • Burinsmith says:

        Hi bentolily,
        I found a more authentic variation I’d like to try sometime, this time with peas:
        I think the fresh spices would be much better than a curry powder, though it’s time-consuming.
        However, I wouldn’t dream of using a half cup of clarified butter!

        Glad you got to use your pumpkin “jam”. As to the chickpeas, he can always fish them out if he doesn’t like them :)!

      • bentolily says:

        Your curry is a quick thing – I like quick cooking and it tastes good. We will cook it again. The spices in Fauzia’s recipe look like garam massala. Maybe next time I try garam massala and some cinnamon instead of curry powder. The half cup of butter isn’t intended to be eaten by only you 😉 It’s a recipe for a lot of people. But I also mean, it’s still to much butter.

  2. Tracey says:

    LOve the recipe–will use it tonight! I love reading your blog–my only complaint is that I get ravenous readimg it!! Please keep it up!

  3. Pingback: GOA Beef curry | Yummy Lummy

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