I got this Japanese curry recipe from Bon Appétit and made it right before having the Fox. The original recipe claims to serve 6, but we had more than 8 servings (without guests, I would have frozen the leftovers). Note that I reduced the amount of curry from 3 to 2 tablespoons and, as always, I prefer mild curry. I served it with rice the first night and with couscous the second – so technically, you do need to make a side for this to be a complete meal, but it’s an easy side, and at least the meat and vegetables are taken care of here. This was really good!
For the raita
2 Japanese or Persian cucumbers (I used baby cucumbers)
1 garlic clove
½ cup plain lactose-free whole-milk yogurt
½ cup plain lactose-free whole-milk Greek yogurt
For the curry
1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. potato starch or cornstarch
2 Tbsp. water
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 lbs. beef chuck, cut into ½–1-inch pieces
kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
3 medium onions, chopped
1 apple, peeled, grated
3 Tbsp. mirin
1 Tbsp. finely chopped peeled ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. curry powder
2 Tbsp. kuro sato (Japanese black sugar) or 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar + ½ tsp. robust-flavored (dark) molasses
1 Tbsp. garam masala
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
½ kabocha squash, peeled, seeded, cut into ½-inch pieces (I used half a butternut squash)
1 large Yukon Gold potato, scrubbed, cut into ½-inch pieces
2 large carrots, peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces
For the raita
Slice cucumbers in half lengthwise. If using Japanese cucumbers, scrape out seeds with a small spoon. Slice cucumbers into very thin half-moons. Toss in a small bowl with a few pinches of salt. Let sit until salt begins to draw out water from cucumbers, about 5 minutes. Massage cucumbers to release liquid, gently at first to keep them from breaking, then more vigorously as they start to expel water. Rinse in several changes of water, squeeze out excess liquid, and place in a clean small bowl.
Mash garlic and a pinch of salt on a cutting board with the side of a chef’s knife to a paste. Mix into cucumbers along with both yogurts; season with salt. Set aside in the refrigerator.
For the curry
Mix flour, potato starch, and water in a bowl. Set slurry aside.
Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high. Season beef with salt and pepper. Working in 2 batches, cook beef, turning occasionally and reducing heat if needed, until browned on all sides, 6–8 minutes per batch. Add onions and apple and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, 12–15 minutes. Add mirin, ginger, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until very fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add curry powder, kuro sato, garam masala, soy sauce, and broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until beef is almost tender, 30–40 minutes.
Add squash, potato, and carrots, cover, and cook, adding water by ¼-cupfuls if needed to keep vegetables submerged, until tender, 20–30 minutes.
Submerge a small sieve into curry and whisk reserved slurry into liquid in sieve to combine. Return curry to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until thickened, 8–10 minutes. Serve over rice topped with raita.