This recipe comes to us by way of Jamaica, where curry has been an ingredient in the cuisine since the 1800s. Think of such dishes as Curry Goat and Curry Chicken. We Nuyoricans have adopted and followed up on it with today’s dish, Ternera con Pollo de Curry, or Curried Veal. There are those who question using curry in such a delicate meat as veal. And we respond, Why Not? This is not veal that is pounded thin as in Veal Scallopini. These are veal chunks and the curry give it a true piquancy.
True to its original concept, we add raisins to the dish to give it a hint of sweetness. In Caribbean cuisine the dish may also be tempered with shredded coconut and such cut-up fruit as apples and apricots. If desired, go for it. We like to keep it a simple as possible, thus raisins and nothing else.
Curry is that unique dish that defies wine convention. In the tropics, beer is the usual preferred beverage. But if, like myself, you like wine, I’ve discovered that a wine from Germany’s Moselle River Valley is a perfect accompaniment, anything from the Falkenberg, Lay or Juffer vineyards. If Moselle is not available, then a Gewurztraminer. I know, it’s a tongue twister, but it’s a crisp, white wine with a hint of spice that favorably complements the curry.
An added note. This recipe is from my first cookbook, Puerto Rican Cuisine in America. Buy a copy. If I could, I would personally every one of them.
TERNERA CON POLVO DE CURRY
2 pounds shoulder of veal, cut into 1-inch chunks
Salt and ground back pepper to taste
½ cup olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced into thin rings
1 medium green bell pepper, or a combination of red and green peppers, cored seeded and chopped
2 clove garlic, peeled and mince
1 ½ cups chicken broth or bouillon
½ teaspoon curry powder or more to taste
¼ cup black raisins
- Wash veal and pat dry with paper towels
- Season veal with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil in a heavy kettle or Dutch oven. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic. Sauté over moderate heat until tender.
- Add veal chunks and cook until browned.
- Add chicken broth, and stir in curry and raisins.
- Bring to a boil, cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes or until veal is tender.
- If necessary, the sauce can be thickened with a mix of 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water.
Yield: 4 serving