West African Beef and Fruit Curry

A delicious dish, evocative of the warmth and colour of its area of origin, West African Beef and Fruit Curry may be served with lots of ice-cold lager and boiled rice.

2 lb. lean beef, cut into

2-inch cubes

2 oz. seasoned flour, made with

2 oz. flour,

1 teaspoon salt,

1 teaspoon black pepper and

1 teaspoon paprika

2 fl. oz. peanut oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 small red pepper, white pith removed, seeded and chopped

3 oz. dried apples, chopped

3 oz. dried apricots, chopped

4 oz. dried prunes, stoned and chopped

2 oz. slivered almonds

8 oz. frozen petits pois

14 fl. oz. hot chicken stock

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice

2 tablespoons hot curry powder

Roll the beef cubes in the seasoned flour and set aside.

In a large flameproof casserole, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the beef cubes and cook, stirring and turning occasionally, for 5 to 8 minutes or until they are lightly and evenly browned. With a slotted spoon, transfer the cubes to a plate.

Add the onion, garlic and red pepper to the casserole and cook, stirring occa-sionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown. Stir in the apples, apricots, prunes, almonds and petits pois and stir well to mix. Pour over the stock, vinegar and lemon or lime juice, then stir in the curry powder.

Return the beef cubes to the casserole and bring the liquid to the boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer the mixture for 2 hours or until the beef is tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

Remove the casserole from the heat and serve the curry at once, straight from the casserole.

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