Curried Beef (c.1859) ★

I'm going to start out this post by apologizing about the lack of photo. This meal got tossed, so I didn't take one. I am not a fan of beer, but I thought that it might be okay in this recipe. I don't know if it was the brand or what, but the smell of this cooking made me feel sick. In the end it wasn't as bad as it smelled, but still not great.

CURRIED BEEF (Cold Meat Cookery).

620. INGREDIENTS.—A few slices of tolerably lean cold roast or boiled beef, 3 oz. of butter, 2 onions, 1 wineglassful of beer, 1 dessertspoonful of curry powder.

Mode.—Cut up the beef into pieces about 1 inch square, put the butter into a stewpan with the onions sliced, and fry them of a lightly-brown colour. Add all the other ingredients, and stir gently over a brisk fire for about 10 minutes. Should this be thought too dry, more beer, or a spoonful or two of gravy or water, may be added; but a good curry should not be very thin. Place it in a deep dish, with an edging of dry boiled rice, in the same manner as for other curries.

Time.—10 minutes. Average cost, exclusive of the meat, 4d.

Seasonable in winter.

The Verdict:
If you like beer, this would probably taste okay. I found that despite adding nearly a tablespoon of curry powder, it was not very curry tasting. The meat had a bit of a beer aftertaste, but it was not as strong as I thought it would be.

Modernized Recipe:
(Adapted from The Book of Household Management by Isabella Beeton)

2lb POT ROAST, cooked and cubed
3 ounces BUTTER
1 cup BEER
1 tablespoon CURRY POWDER
SALT and PEPPER, to taste

1. In a pot, melt the butter and add the onions, cooking at medium-high heat until browned.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and cook ~10 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced somewhat.
3. Add more beer or water if needed to thin out the sauce and serve with rice.

Anje graduated with a Honours Bachelors degree in History with a minor in Museum Studies. She currently lives and works in Japan's least populous prefecture as an assistant English teacher.