We don’t have many beef recipes on our website, and that’s intentional; we try to limit red meat intake for physical and planetary health. When we do eat red meat, we choose grass-fed, lean varieties and make sure that it is delicious and flavorful like it is in this recipe. Slow simmered with carrots and potatoes, this simple beef curry recipe is a perfect dish for a cold fall or winter evening.
Three Must-Know Cooking Skills
For recipe success, learn how to:
Culinary Tips for the Best Beef Curry Recipe
Allow the beef to sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes, and up to 1 hour, before cooking. This will help prevent the beef from sticking to the pan.
Blot the beef dry with a paper towel before adding to the pan.
Remember the 3 F’s of flavor: fire, fat, food! Heat the pan, then the oil, and finally the beef. This will help keep the beef from sticking to the pan and will help develop a beautiful golden outside (hint: flavor!). Be sure to add the stew meat in batches and not overcrowd the pan, otherwise, it will steam and not brown.
Once you add the beef to the pan, don’t move it! Listen for a sizzle, but turn down the heat if the oil is splattering. Once brown on one side, flip and brown the other.
The size of the cut, type, and age of the beef will impact the cook time. If it’s not tender, just keep simmering!
If the curry looks too thin for your taste, remove the lid during the last 15 minutes of cooking and continue to simmer.
- Beef Stew Meat: substitute lamb, bison, venison, or goat.
- Oil: substitute a lower quality olive oil.
- Onion: use white, yellow, or red.
- Garlic: substitute 1 ½ teaspoons pre-minced garlic, ¾ teaspoon granulated garlic, or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder.
- Curry Powder: substitute garam masala to make an Indian beef curry recipe.
- Ground Cinnamon: substitute a whole cinnamon stick or omit.
- Crushed Tomatoes: substitute tomato puree. Only have diced or whole tomatoes? Crush them yourself using a blender, food processor, or immersion blender!
- Sugar: substitute agave nectar, brown sugar, or feel free to omit.
- Bay Leaf: substitute ¼ teaspoon dried oregano leaves.
- Potato: use russet, red, Yukon gold, or even sweet potatoes!
- Baby Carrots: substitute regular carrots, cut into a large dice (¾”) or baby carrot size.
Want to make a simple chicken curry? Simply substitute the beef for chicken, and it will come out great!
You can also change up the vegetables or add more; you might just need to increase the liquid.
For even more plant-forward power, add a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas (~1 ½ cups) in with the tomatoes.
Use these kitchen tools for recipe success!
- Cutting Board
- Chef’s Knife
- Dry Measuring Spoons
- Prep Bowls
- Liquid Measuring Cup
- Dutch Oven (or 4-6 quart saucepan)
Is this a Healthy Beef Curry?
While we recommend limiting red meat intake overall, it still provides nutrition and can be enjoyed every now and then as part of a healthy dietary pattern. We make this easy beef curry plant-forward by adding tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, and spices. The beef might be the star, but the plants play a strong supportive role!
Beef is rich in protein, iron, B vitamins, and other essential vitamins and minerals. If your budget allows, purchase grass-fed beef, as this will provide more omega-3 fatty acids, and less saturated fat.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a phytochemical that helps protect against heart disease and prostate cancer. (1, 2) Canned and/or cooked tomatoes are higher in lycopene than their fresh counterparts. (3)
Many people think that potatoes are unhealthy, and while we wouldn’t recommend eating only potatoes, they can certainly be a part of a healthy, balanced diet. The potatoes we want to eat less of are those that are highly processed, such as tater tots, french fries, chips, and modified potato starches (found in many packaged foods). Potatoes can provide a great source of important nutrients, such as potassium, Vitamin C, and fiber!
Carrots contain fiber, vitamins, and phytochemicals that have beneficial effects on immune function, healthy skin, vascular function, cancer prevention, and more. Choose different colors of carrots – orange, purple, and yellow – for an even broader range of benefits. (4)
Curry powder and chili powder add flavor and nutrition to this recipe. Using spices decreases the need for salt, which may help reduce hypertension risk and therefore promote heart health. (5) Additionally, these spices contain powerful antioxidants which may help reduce inflammation in the body. (6)
Learn more about the health benefits of spices in this article.
Serving Suggestions for Simple Beef Curry
Enjoy this recipe as a beef curry stew or pair with brown rice or another whole grain for a more filling dish. Serve with a green salad to create an even more plant-forward meal and to provide a cold, crisp contrast to the warm and hearty curry!
Cool the beef curry completely, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
Cooked beef curry can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
Looking for more recipes to warm you up?
Try out these delicious recipes, and as always, adjust to YOUR taste!
Simple Beef Curry with Potatoes and Carrots
- 1 ½ pounds beef stew meat, ~1" cubes (grass-fed recommended)
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 2 Tablespoons avocado or canola oil
- 1 medium onion, diced ½" (~1 cup)
- 3 small garlic cloves, chopped (~3 teaspoons)
- 2 Tablespoons curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup water
- 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 medium potato, diced ¾" (~2 cups)
- 1 cup baby carrots
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Plain yogurt
- Hot sauce or crushed red pepper flakes
- Allow beef to sit at room temperature for 15-60 minutes before cooking. Pat beef dry and sprinkle with ~½ teaspoon salt.
- Heat a 4-6 quart saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil. Add meat in 2-3 batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Brown on all sides (~6-8 minutes total per batch). Remove to plate and set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, and add onions to pan. Sauté until translucent (~5-7 minutes). Add garlic and spices, and sauté for 1 more minute. Add water to deglaze the pan and scrape the bottom of the pan to remove stuck on bits.
- Return beef to pot along with any accumulated juices. Add tomatoes, ¾ teaspoon salt, sugar, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover for 45 minutes.
- Add carrots and potatoes and continue to simmer covered 30-45 more minutes, or until meat is tender. Serve on its own or over brown rice or quinoa. Garnish with optional chopped cilantro and yogurt. Enjoy!