If someone wants you, nothing will keep them away, but if they don’t want you, nothing will make them stay.
There’s a saying in Hawai’i: “No worry, beef curry.” It means “good to go, it’s in the bag, it’s all good, garanz ball baranz,” or “garanz” for short. Basically, it means “guaranteed.” And I can’t tell you why or how beef curry and no worry came together—other than the fact that they rhyme—but I think it’s safe to say that it’s important enough to merit mention. The curry in Hawai‘i is essentially Japanese. It’s thick and stew-like and a little sweet like Japanese curry, but unlike traditional Japanese curry, it’s loaded with meat, carrots, potatoes, onions, and sometimes celery. While most families pick up bricks of curry roux in the store, it doesn’t take much more time to make this curry from scratch. Be sure to season with salt and pepper throughout the cooking process.
- 1½ pounds beef chuck or other stew meat, cut into 1½-inch cubes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large or 2 small Maui or yellow onions, sliced into ½-inch wedges
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated
- 2 teaspoons peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
- ⅔ cup red wine
- 1 cup 100 percent apple juice
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (shoyu)
- 4 cups beef broth
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced on the bias
- 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1½-inch cubes
- 4 celery stalks, sliced on the bias
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1½ tablespoons curry powder
- ½ teaspoon instant espresso powder
- ¼ cup shredded Gouda
- 3 cups steamed rice, for serving
Season the stew meat with salt and pepper. Toss the meat with 2 tablespoons of the all-purpose flour, coating all sides evenly.
In a large Dutch oven or pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the unsalted butter over medium-high heat until it melts and just starts to sizzle. Add half the stew meat to the pan and cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Remove the meat and set aside on a plate to rest. Add another 2 tablespoons of the butter to the pan and brown the second half of the meat for about 5 minutes more. Transfer to the plate and set aside.
Turn the heat to medium-low and, in the same pot, add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the onions and cook until the onions are translucent and slightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 2 minutes. Add the red wine, apple juice, ketchup, honey, soy sauce, and beef broth and bring to a simmer. Add the browned beef and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes, and celery and simmer until the beef and vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes more. Add the garam masala, curry powder, and instant espresso powder and stir well.
Remove ¼ cup of the sauce from the pan and whisk it with the remaining 4 tablespoons flour before stirring it back into the pot. Cook for a few minutes to thicken the sauce, then stir in the Gouda. Serve with rice.