We've chosen oyster blade because it is our favourite cut of beef to braise. A vein of sinew that runs down the middle becomes soft and unctuous once cooked. Other cuts of beef you can use include chuck steak and skirt. It's important to cut the ginger as finely as possible as it is strong and fibrous in nature and too intense if left chunky. If grinding spices is not an option, substitute half the amount of ground spice to seeds.
Photo: Marco del Grande
Have your say
- 200ml olive oil
- 3 medium brown onions, finely sliced
- 1 large knob ginger, peeled, finely julienned or grated
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
- 3 bay leaves
- 6 cardamom pods
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 tbsp fennel seeds
- 2 tbsp cumin seeds
- Vegetable oil
- 1.5 kg oyster blade, trimmed of fat and cut into 8 even pieces
- 400g tinned tomatoes
- 1 litre beef stock
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 180C.
Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add onions, ginger, garlic, bay leaf and cardamom pods. Season with salt and pepper and cook on medium heat until soft for about 20 minutes. Place seeds in baking tray and place in oven for 5 minutes or until fragrant and slightly toasted. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Grind to a fine powder in a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder. Sift into onion mix and cook a further 10 minutes.
Meanwhile heat a frying pan on high. Add a little vegetable oil. Season oyster blade with sea salt and pepper. Fry beef pieces in pan, a few at a time, so you don't lose too much heat and the meat ends up stewing. Fry until coloured well on sides. Remove to a paper towel. When all browned, add meat to onion mix with tomatoes and beef stock.
Bring to the boil, skim and allow to simmer gently for approximately 2 hours, until the meat is tender and stock has thickened. Serve with rice or boiled potatoes, fresh coriander, yoghurt and your favourite chutney.