Smoky feather blade beef Madras, stout, carrots and chestnuts

Serves: 4
Course: Dinner
  • 1.7kg-2kg feather blade joint of beef
  • 25g Irish butter and a splash of light olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, peeled, halved, sliced into thin wedges
  • 2 sticks celery, cut into chunky batons
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1tbs tomato purée
  • 1 sachet Green Saffron Madras spice blend, or 2tbs Madras curry powder
  • 1tsp (heaped) smoked paprika
  • 1 bottle stout (500ml)
  • 300ml beef stock
  • 2 black cardamom pods, lightly crushed (optional)
  • 2 big carrots, cut into good-sized chunks
  • 200g cooked and peeled chestnuts, tinned are perfect
  • 1tbs redcurrant jelly
  • 2tbs ginger purée, finely grated ginger
  • 2tsp fenugreek leaves, (also known as kasuri methi)
  • Good handful coriander leaf and stems, sliced
  1. Turn your oven to 160 degrees, Gas 3.
  2. Take a heavy-bottomed casserole pot, add the butter and oil, place on a medium hot heat, then when the butter’s foaming, fry the sides of the beef joint so it gets nicely caramelised on each side, about five to six minutes.
  3. Remove the meat to a side plate, turn down the heat, then add the onions, celery, garlic, tomato purée and Madras powder, smoked paprika. Stir, cook to soften for about five minutes, then add the stout, beef stock, black cardamom pods, bring to a simmer and pop the meat back in on top of the vegetables. Cover with foil, pop the lid on and place on to a medium shelf of your oven for about three hours.
  4. Carefully remove the pot from the oven, add the carrots and chestnuts, then re-cover and return to the oven for another 1-1½ hours, or until the carrots are soft and meat meltingly tender.
  5. Remove the pot from the oven, carefully take out the meat and black cardamom pods with a slotted spoon on to a platter. Set aside and discard the black cardamom pods.
  6. Put the pot on to a high heat, reduce by about half until the gravy is glossy and unctuous, then add the redcurrant jelly, ginger, fenugreek leaves, stir well, then pop the meat back into the sauce, sprinkle in the coriander, give it a quick, gentle stir and leave it to rest for a few minutes. Serve with polenta, potatoes or rice.

Tip: Do try to find the black cardamom pods – they work so well in this recipe, bringing smoky, spiced flavour. Most Asian shops stock small 50g packs.