Goan Beef Roast – Bife Assado

[A]: Goan cuisine have a strong European influence thanks to the Portuguese. This is a great pot roast recipe that I originally found in Rick Stein’s book on Indian cooking. He claims the recipe to be from another great British chef, Atul Kochchar, some of whose other recipes I have used in my cooking. This roast has become quite popular as the Sunday roast at home and I have modified it by adding some vegetables.

Indians rarely use an oven for cooking. So in Goa this pot roast is simmered for about 4 hours to slow cook the meat. I prefer to use the oven at low temperature and the recipe here follows what I do. After slow cooking, the meat is usually sliced and deep fried in Goa. But I quite like the flavour of the spicy meat and don’t like to overcook the meat by frying.

A cheaper cut of meat, like a rump, silverback or topside is best for roasting. A cheaper cut usually has less fat and more muscle in the meat. This makes it ideal for long and slow cooking. While choosing the meat I usually try to stay local and my butcher seems to always have a good choice of Hereford topsides.

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The meat is for 6-8 portions.

Ingredients:

1-1.2 kg beef roasting joint (topside, silverback or rump)

800 ml water

beef stock (from cube, pot or freshly made)

25 gm fresh ginger, grated

25 gm fresh garlic, grated

1 cinnamon stick, 5 cm piece

6 cloves, crushed

2 Indian bay leaves

4 dry Kashmiri chillies

4 charlotte potatoes (or baby potatoes)

6 small whole carrots

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tbsp chestnut flour (or plain white flour) to thicken the sauce

For the spice marinade:

25 gm fresh ginger, grated

25 gm fresh garlic, grated

1 tsp salt

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

2 tbsp vegetable oil

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Procedure: 

Mix the marinade ingredients with the oil to a smooth paste. Rub over the meat and leave to marinate for one hour at room temperature.

Once the meat has rested in the marinade for an hour, put the beef in a heavy-based ceramic casserole along with the other ingredients except the thickening agent (chestnut flour). The root vegetables become tender at the end of the cooking and release juices that add to the taste of the sauce.

Pre-heat the oven to 160°C and place the casserole with the lid on in the middle shelf of the oven. Cook for 1 hr 45 minutes with the lid on and turning the meat after an hour’s cooking.

Now remove the lid and place the casserole back in the over for a further 30 minutes, turning the meat half way through. This helps to reduce the water and provide colour to the outer skin of the roast joint.

Remove the meat from the cooking liquid and rest it covered at room temperature on a resting tray for at least 20 minutes. The resting is crucial as it helps to relax the muscle and make the meat tender.

When the meat is resting, remove the whole vegetables from the cooking liquid and rapidly heat the remaining liquid along with the chestnut flour. The jus contains the fat from the beef, juice from the whole vegetables and all the spices. It is quite rich and has a beautiful flavour. Reduce the liquid to single cream consistency and serve with the meat.

Once rested, curve the beef joint into fairly thick slices, spoon over the sauce and serve with the whole vegetables from the cooking sauce along with other roasted and steamed seasonal vegetables.

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