It's getting chilly in the Chihuahua desert, and my Instagram tells me that it has begun to snow in the Northeast.
My dear friend, Anita shared this timely recipe from beautiful Montreal. Bhuna gosht (stewed meat) is a rich, heart-warming dish best enjoyed family style in the dead of winter.
"Bhuna" is a style of cooking where you let the meat (or vegetables) cook in its own spices. Here the meat is cooked over a period of two hours, during which it acquires a deep rich flavor reminiscent of family get-togethers in Pakistan.
After I got married, both my husband and I were away from our immediate family. During the holiday season, DC would empty out and we would stay back, intent on forming our own holiday traditions with our friends and family close-by.
We would often coax my younger brother and sister to visit during their winter breaks, and enjoy lavish Pakistani home-cooked meals together.
"Bhuna gosht" is precisely the time of meal that is best enjoyed during such a time. When you have your sweats on, your family and friends are over for the day, and you can let richly-spiced meat brew over the course of a few hours.
While total cooking time is about two hours, this version of 'bhuna gosht' is extremely easy to prepare. Enjoy.
Total Cooking Time: 10 minutes prep + 2 hours marinade + 2 hours slow cook
2 tbsp of oil
1 large onion finely chopped
4 tbsp of crushed tomatoes (roughly 2-3 whole roma tomatoes worth)
1.5-2 cups water
1 kg of beef/mutton stewing cubes (I used a thick beef sirloin strip, trimmed and cut into roughly 1-2" pieces)
1 cup yogurt
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp red chlli powder (I added 1/2 tsp of red chilli flakes since I like mine on the hotter side)
2 tsp garam masala (can be found in Indian/Pakistani specialty grocery stores. If you live in DC, the West African food stores by Union Market carry it)
2 tsp cumin powder
3-4 garlic cloves crushed/pressed
Lightly whisk the yogurt and stir in the spices (salt, red chilli pepper, garam masala, cumin powder and crushed garlic). Coat the meat in the marinade, and leave in the fridge for 2 hours.
Heat oil in a dutch oven or stockpot on medium-low heat. Saute the onion for about 7-10 minutes till they are light brown and soft. Raise heat to medium-high and add the marinated meat. Stir fry till brown for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, give it a quick stir and add water. Dial heat to low, and let it cook for 2 hours while stirring occasionally.
If you are using a non-stick pot, keep a vigilant eye on the meat since it tends to stick in the last hour. Add more water as necessary.
Serve with chapati or vegetable pulao.
Stay warm everyone.