Friday, March 12, 2010

Beef Kofta Curry

I spend a good amount of time looking for deals on Craigslist. I really like the Farm and Garden section. I also love the Free section; it's hilarious and sometimes rewarding. I'm always looking for one thing or another. Or waiting for something to find me. A lot of the time it doesn't pan out. But you've got to keep on looking. The other day I saw an ad for local grass-fed grass-finished Black Angus beef that was an incredible deal. One of the things that I find most expensive in trying to keep to a more local diet is meat. There are ways around that. One is to obviously eat less meat. And another is to be more creative in seeking it out.

I connected with Eric Eschbach of Cedar Hill Farms in Amenia, NY. His farm is a good hour from where I live and he graciously offered to meet me half way. I rustled up some friends to make an order that was worth his while. We met in a parking lot of a library. Now, doesn't that seem incredible? Eric is an utterly respectable person, who is working constantly to create a great product. He had a lot of interesting information that I would have liked to learn about meat, how it's processed and the rules and regulations surrounding it all, but I had a wiggly toddler to chase after. It doesn't lend to thoughtful conversation, unfortunately. However, I was thrilled with the transaction, and I intend to visit his farm stand in the summer time, where he sells vegetables as well, and get a lay of the land he works.I came home with a cooler full of meat and a feeling of intense satisfaction.

My first meal was with the ground beef, and I used a recipe with which I took some crazy liberties. Ellie, of Almost Bourdain, does some amazing stuff. All of her elegant food is photographed perfectly---you always want to just sit right down, and tuck in to whatever it is that she is making. There is no pretension, and her writing is thoughtful and often from the heart. And, her precision and attention to detail is pretty much the exact opposite of how I roll. So, although I ogle her site I often think: I'll never make that. (Which is how I feel when I read a lot of blogs, come to think of it.) But, the other day there was this recipe for Beef Kofta Curry that seemed level to my playing field so I affectionately butchered it and in doing so probably took it down ten notches on the superlative stick, but still, it was delicious. In the original recipe it is served with pasta, but I did wild rice.

It's not that I'm lazy, it's just that I don't have the time (miniature violins, please) to attend to much else but the little toddler that keeps me busy all day. Which is just fine. In a few years I'll have plenty of time. I'm sure I'll miss making crock pot meals and cheesy pasta. Even making meatballs took a little precious time. So, in that vein of laziness, I'm not even going to write my version of the recipe, because really, why bother? Visit Ellie's blog and check it out. It's a simple recipe to begin with, I just amended it for what I had. There are a billion spices in this recipe! And I didn't have all of them. But that's okay. That's what cooking is about for me. Getting close. Helping things along. When you have really good local beef, that's a great start, isn't it?


  1. Thanks, this looks good--we get a lot of ground beef with our meat CSA and I'm not a hamburger person so am always on the lookout!

  2. Your meat buying transaction sounds so pleasant -- what a good beginning to a meal. I thought you were going to say you got meat from the free section of craigslist: but I only imagine that to be possible because I once saw someone offering a half package of bacon on freecycle - which both amazed and amused me!

  3. I am glad you made the curry and I hope enjoyed the meal! Thanks for the mention :)

  4. Hey this looks delicious regardless of the lack of inertia! meatballs are easy!
    Nice blog!

  5. Sara - I know! So am I!

    IB - Ha ha! Wouldn't that have been great? Now, if only we knew if someone claimed that bacon...

    Ellie - It's long overdue! The meal was great. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Natural Selection - Thanks for coming by and commenting!

  6. The curry looks scrumptious. I remember what it is like to have a toddler in tow. Actually, I see it everyday at the library. Good job staying with the plan as much as possible. It will get easier.

  7. Thanks again for the meat hook-up and the jelly- we used it to make a tart glaze the other day, and when Milo tasted a spoon of the jelly, he said "whoever made this must be famous!"

    My next article will be about Eric, et al.

  8. Anon- Thanks for the reminder. One day, I know!

    Peter - That's like the nicest compliment ever! You are most welcome. I'm looking forward to your article; I'll get all the information I missed while chasing after my boy!