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Recipe for :

Beef Madras au Le Millet

This 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 here>

I asked Sue to do her own introduction . . . . .

"Originally 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 cuisine.

The first two things we must stock up on during our infrequent visits to England, but curries and bhajis - pas du problem!

I 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.

OK 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."

"I 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".


5 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


  • Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onions and peppers until browned.
  • Using a slotted spoon remove the onion and pepper to a blender and liquidize until very smooth.
  • Fry 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.
  • Add the onion and pepper paste and stir well.
  • Add the meat and bring to the boil.
  • Liquidize the tomatoes and add to the pan together with the salt and herbs.
  • Cook 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.
  • Serve with plain boiled rice or pilau rice and perhaps a vegetable side dish if you really want to impress.

Serves 12

Sue Brewer

If 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