Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Beef Biryani

Delicious variation of biryani.  You can use almost any cut of beef as the pressure cooking will easily make it tender and delicious!  Beware of your spice level in choosing how much chili powder, black pepper and green chiles you add to this dish!

2 tablespoon oil
2 lbs beef, chopped into 1" cubes
2 onions, thinly sliced and divided in two equal portions
1 roma tomato, chopped
1/2 to 1 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons coriander powder
1 tablespoon fennel powder
1/2 to 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ghee or butter
1 star anise
5 cloves
3 cardamom
1" piece of cinnamon stick
1 bay (cassia) leaf
1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
10-15 peppercorns (optional)
1/2 to 2 serrano chiles, sliced lengthwise
3/4 inch piece of ginger AND 8 cloves garlic, roughly chopped then pureed in blender or food processor with little water
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
2 cups basmati rice
1/4 cup yogurt
3 and 3/4 cups water (and reserved beef broth, see instructions below)

Heat the oil in a small pressure cooker.  Add the beef to this and sear.  (Place in oil and do not stir until the beef is browned and easily comes up.  Then turn over and sear on the other side.)  Using a slotted spoon, remove the beef and set aside.  Add half of the sliced onions to the oiled cooker and stir fry until the onions are browned.  (Around 10 minutes.)  Add the chopped tomato, and stir-fry until tomato becomes pulpy.  Add to this the spices: chili powder, turmeric, coriander, fennel, black pepper and salt.  Stir until well combined.  Add just enough water to fully cover the beef, place the lid tightly on the cooker along with the weight.  Keep heat at medium.   Once the pressure builds up cook for 10-15 (5-6 whistles on my cooker) minutes then switch off the flame.

Meanwhile, in another pot OR large pressure cooker, add the ghee and heat.  Add the whole spices: star anise, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaf, fennel, peppercorns.  Saute until fragrant then add remaining sliced onions.  Stir-fry until the onions are golden brown (about 10 minutes).  Then stir in ginger-garlic paste.  By now your pressure cooker should have naturally released the pressure.  Once you open it you should find the beef fork tender.  Using a slotted spoon, put the beef into your large pot and stir.  Then add the rice.

Now, you will want just under 4 cups of liquid to cook your rice.  Start with your yogurt, then use any leftover beef broth (and the scrapings from the pan, as long as they are not burnt!).  The remaining liquid will be water.  Stir in salt to taste.

If cooking in pressure cooker: place the lid tightly on the cooker and weight.  Leave heat at medium.  When the cooker gives one long whistle switch off the heat and leave until pressure naturally releases AND the pot is cool enough to touch.

If cooking in the rice cooker: place everything in your electric rice cooker and cook according to manufacturer instructions.

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