recipe comes from Sue Brewer who is lucky enough
to live in Brittany where she has her own gites to rent
- have a look for yourself <click
asked Sue to do her own introduction . . . . .
from London my better half and I have lived in a little
hamlet called Le Millet near Ploeuc sur Lie in France
for the past three years. Although life in the Cotes
d'Armor region of Brittany is quite idyllic there are
some downsides, notably the price and strength of tea
bags, unavailability of sliced back bacon (who can live
without bacon sarnies) and finally the lack of Indian
first two things we must stock up on during our infrequent
visits to England, but curries and bhajis - pas du problem!
realised that the only way I was ever going to have
an 'Indian takeaway' in France was to make it myself.
Now this isn't as silly as it sounds; I always make
the curries or whatever in large quantities and then
freeze them in meal-sized portions. So Saturday night
is still takeaway night, either sharing the meal with
friends or to eat whilst watching some rubbish on the
television - you know the sort of thing that's on TV
on a Saturday night.
I do bring back the spices from dear old blighty as
here in France they are rare and, if found, expensive
(except for that awful pale yellow curry powder) but
the rest is down to moi."
created this recipe because if you are low on spices
and living in France you can buy the Hot Madras Curry
Powder at some of the large supermarkets - I have seen
it in the Geant supermarket at Rennes. Also I wanted
to experiment with herbs available from the winter garden,
as very often I can't get hold of coriander, even at
the huge Carrefour at St Brieuc".
tbsps oil for frying
3lb (1.5kg) braising steak, cubed (not too small because
of the long cooking
time needed to thicken the sauce)
1 lb 12 oz (800g) red pepper, chopped
1 lb (450g) onions, chopped
12 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 in (7.5mm) ginger, peeled and grated
2 lb (900g) skinned tomatoes (or 3 cans)
1 tbsp Madras curry powder
2 level tsp salt
3 heaped tbsp sage
5 heaped tbsp parsley
the oil in a large pan and fry the onions and peppers
a slotted spoon remove the onion and pepper to a blender
and liquidize until very smooth.
the garlic and ginger for 1 minute in the remaining
oil in the pan, (low to medium heat - don't burn!)
add curry powder and fry for another minute.
the onion and pepper paste and stir well.
the meat and bring to the boil.
the tomatoes and add to the pan together with the
salt and herbs.
on a moderately low gas, without a lid, until really
tender (probably 2 - 3 hours depending on how tender
the meat is, although the longer cooking time does
produce a more intense sauce).
Do keep your eye on the curry during cooking. You
want a nice thick sauce at the end, but if you find
the sauce is reducing too fast you can put a lid on
to prevent further evaporation.
with plain boiled rice or pilau rice and perhaps a
vegetable side dish if you really want to impress.
you would like to stay in one of Sue's cottages at Le
Millet or learn more about Brittany visit her website
or send her an email to firstname.lastname@example.org