Hereford Beef Curry

A rich and warming beef curry, made with any joint suitable for slow cooking. This is a fragrant and tasty dish, perfect for making in large quantities and entertaining as it can all be done in advance.

Serves: 4

Total time (prep and cooking): 3 hours 30 minutes



  • 5cm cinnamon bark
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 12 green cardamoms de-seeded
  • 1 small onion
  • thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • 3 tablespoons of tamarind paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons of chilli powder (adjust according to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar


  • 800g beef shin/brisket in 4cm cubes
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 onions
  • 2 fresh red chillies (optional)
  • 800g chopped tinned tomatoes
  • 200ml water



  • Put the dry ingredients into a hot non-stick pan and heat gently for 4-5 minutes until the spices begin to release a fragrance.
  • Remove and put into a food processor and grind to a powder.
  • Add the other marinade ingredients to a food processor and blend to form a paste.
  • Use this paste to coat the beef and place in the fridge for 12-24 hours so that the beef can take on the flavour of the spices and tenderise.


  • Remove the beef from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature.
  • Heat a large heavy-bottomed saucepan on high heat. Add the vegetable oil, followed by the sliced onion. Cook until golden then add the beef with its marinade and fry for 5-10 minutes, turning occasionally to allow the beef to brown. (If multiplying this recipe, you will need to do this in batches).
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, chillies and water. Cover and cook for 2-3 hours until the meat is beautifully tender. Check every 30 minutes that the pan is not becoming dry, adding more water if necessary.
  • Serve alongside rice, naan bread and coriander.