This is adapted from a recipe in How To Cook Meat by Christopher Schlesinger and John Willoughby. I simplified it a bit, adjusted the seasonings, and add vegetables. The result is savory, spicy, hearty and satisfying - and my increasingly picky three-year-old scarfed it right down. Serve it straight up or, if you like, over rice.
2 lbs stew beef or cubed chuck
3 Tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 tsp cayenne
Salt and pepper
3-4 Tbsp canola oil
3 medium onions, sliced lengthwise
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 Tbps minced ginger root (about a 1-inch chunk)
2 Tbsp curry powder
2 red peppers, in chunks (frozen is fine)
2 large carrots, in rounds
1 can light coconut milk
2-3 cups water or beef stock
2-3 Tbsp lime juice
Toss the beef in a bowl with the flour, cayenne, and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper and mix to coat well.
Heat about 2 Tbsp of the oil in a Dutch oven or other heavy pot until it is hot but not smoking. Add the beef and brown thoroughly on all sides. Set the pot aside.
In a large skillet, heat another 1-2 Tbsp of oil and add the onions. Saute over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they are soft and beginning to brown. Add the garlic, ginger, and curry powder and cook, stirring frequently, for another 2-3 minutes. Add a splash of water to loosen what's stuck to the bottom of the pan, and scrape it all into the Dutch oven with the beef.
Add the peppers, carrots, and coconut milk to the Dutch oven, then add enough water or stock to just cover the meat. Simmer for at least an hour, and as long as three hours if you have time. Before serving, add the lime juice, taste, and adjust seasonings.
Serves about 6.