Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Trinidad Turkey and Coconut Curry

Sometimes I get so excited about the idea of a recipe that I don't really think through the practicalities of when I should make it... I just want to make it ASAP. That very night.

This is my excuse for why my poor, hard done to husband was to be found wasting away last night as he waited for his dinner... and waited... and waited. He's not accustomed to sitting down to dinner at 8pm- I'm just so glad that this recipe was unbelievably worth the wait!

On a side note, there was an added bonus to all that waiting- look how many bottles of Ginger Beer Mr Ellwood got from our latest adventure in home brewing! 16 litres! Looking forward to cracking one open soon :)

It just occurred to me that one or two of you might be reading this from somewhere in the world that actually gets a "Summer" and are probably thinking "this girl is CRAZY- doesn't she know it's July?! She's stewing?!". Please believe me, I would love to live somewhere that stewing is something you strictly keep for winter months- but here in England our "summer" has been a complete washout. I mean it hasn't stopped raining. At all! Just like there's a good chance you might need your thickest jumper on in August, there's a good chance that mid July you might feel that a nice warming stew would be just the ticket. If you are one of those fortunate souls who have a proper summer (or maybe you don't feel quite so fortunate if you're melting right about now) please do me a favour? Bookmark this one for when the temperature drops? I promise, it is that good.

Back to the main event. Part of my excitement was that the essential flavour ingredients in this recipe were all things I keep in my store cupboard- and the others were so flexible that I was able to adapt them to use up what I had in the house. I was so pleased with the results, I think even if I had the original ingredients I'd make it this way! It's incredibly easy and quick to prepare, but it does take a while to cook due to the hour you need to simmer it for. In total it takes about an hour and a half, so it's still doable for midweek- just make sure you plan ahead (unlike me)!

I adapted this from a recipe found in one of my favourite books, "Stew!" by Genevieve Taylor. I seriously recommend this book, the recipes are so easy and full of flavour- and who knew there were so many types of stew? You can buy it here and here.

Anyway, here's how you do it:

Trinidad Turkey and Coconut Curry

500g turkey thigh, cubed
2 tablespoons light olive oil
600ml coconut milk
1 onion, diced
Handful of green beans, topped and tailed and cut in half
Small handful of new potatoes, quartered
2 tbspns brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 inch piece of ginger, minced
1 tbspns tomato ketchup
1 tspn cayenne pepper
1 lime
Salt and Pepper, for seasoning

1)Heat the oil and sugar in a heavy based pan (you'll need a lid for later) over a medium heat until it caramelises (but don't let it burn, ick) and then add the cubed turkey. Apparently this is a classic way of cooking in Trinidad, and I loved the ever so slight toffee-ish flavour it added to the dish. 

2)Stir fry until the turkey is lightly browned all over, then add the onion, potatoes, garlic, ginger, salt and pepper and stir for a few minutes more.

3)Pour in the coconut milk, add the tomato ketchup and cayenne pepper and stir while bringing it to the boil. Reduce the heat and bring it to a really gentle simmer (it should look pathetic, like it's hardly trying at all) and put the lid on. At this point you're going to feel a bit disappointed by the way it looks and tastes- I did! The flavours will all seem too diluted and the colours somewhat anaemic and it'll look more like a soupy thing. Am I selling it to you?! Stick with me though, because magic happens in the next step (actual magic, I promise- fairydust and everything)!

4)Leave to simmer for about an hour, lifting the lid only once or twice to give it a wee stir. Halfway through add the green beans (did you really think I'd forgotten about them?). Try not to lift the lid too much or disturb it too much, as amazing as it will smell and as concerned as you will be about it sticking- yes, it will stick a wee bit, but those are the yummy caramelly bits that you will fight over when dishing it out. The potatoes are especially worth fighting for. I'm not kidding. Sooo good.

A5)fter an hour turn the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes (just to tease you a bit more). Sprinkle a little parsley on top, serve with boiled or steamed rice and a few lime wedges on the side (the fresh lime balances the slight sweetness beautifully).
This should serve 4 (but I made Mr E wait so long he was "starving" so it may not have stretched that far in the end...) and it freezes beautifully.

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