A spicy and warming dish, Spiced Beef uses a comparatively inexpensive beef – either leg or shin. The flavourings used illustrate the influence of Indian cuisine on British cooking. Serve Spiced Beef with boiled carrots and mashed potatoes for a family meal.
2 lb. leg or shin of beef, trimmed of excess fat and cut into
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 oz. vegetable fat
2 medium-sized onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 oz. mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
4 oz. split peas, soaked overnight in water and drained
1 round lettuce, outer leaves removed, washed, shaken dry and shredded
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ pints b cups water
Preheat the oven to warm 325 °F (Gas Mark 3, 170°C).
Place the meat cubes on a board, sprinkle over the salt and pepper and rub them into the meat with your fingertips.
In a large, flameproof casserole, melt the vegetable fat over moderately high heat. Add the meat cubes, a few at a time, and cook them, turning occasionally, for 2 minutes or until they are lightly browned all over. With a slotted spoon, transfer the meat cubes to a plate and keep them warm while you fry the remaining meat cubes in the same way. Reduce the heat to moderate.
Add the onions and garlic to the casserole and fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent but not brown. With the slotted spoon, transfer the mixture to the plate containing the meat. Pour off and discard the fat from the casserole. Return the meat mixture to the casserole and add the mushrooms, split peas, lettuce, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, sugar, Worcestershire sauce and water.
Increase the heat to high and bring the liquid to the boil, stirring constantly. Remove the casserole from the heat.
Cover the casserole and place it in the oven. Cook for 2 to 3 hours or until the meat is tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.
Remove the casserole from the oven and remove and discard the cloves. Serve immediately, from the casserole.