*  Exported from  MasterCook  *
 
                Saag Gosht (Beef in Fragrant Spinach Sauce)
 
 Recipe By     : Classic Indian Cooking by Julie Sahni ISBN 0-688-03721-6
 Serving Size  : 8    Preparation Time :0:00
 Categories    : Indian                           Meats
 
   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
    3      cups          cooked spinach
    6      tablespoons   light vegetable oil
    3      pounds        boneless beef round or lamb -- cut in 1 1/2 pieces
    3 1/2  cups          onions -- thinly sliced
    1 1/2  tablespoons   garlic -- finely chopped
    3      tablespoons   fresh ginger root -- finely chopped
    1      tablespoon    ground cumin
    2      tablespoons   ground coriander
    1      teaspoon      turmeric
    1      medium        ripe tomato -- finely chopped
    3                    green chiles -- minced
    3      tablespoons   plain yogurt
    1                    cinnamon stick -- broken small pieces
    6                    black (or 12 green) cardamom pods
    9      whole         cloves
    3                    bay leaves -- crumbled
    1      tablespoon    kosher salt
    4      teaspoons     garam masala
    2      tablespoons   light vegetable oil -- if needed
 
 Spinach is used extensively in India, where it’s inexpensive and available year
  round. But the main
 reason for its prevalence in Indian cooking is that it can be utilized in so ma
 ny marvelous
 ways--for instance, as a sauce. Spinach is a mild green. If it is cooked with a
  meat that contains
 a lot of spices, its flavor is likely to get lost, and its lovely bright green 
 color with it. To be
 sure that the spinach will hold its own in this dish, you must cook it separate
 ly and fold it into
 the meat just before serving.
 
 This beautiful dish -- another variation of the Moghul rulers' fine cooking -- 
 is based on the use
 of different greens. You can substitute kale, collard, or mustard greens, or co
 mbine any of these
 with the spinach.
 
 Finely puree the spinach, using a food processor or electric blender, or mince 
 it with a knife on a
 chopping board. Set aside.
 
 Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
 
 Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan over high heat until very h
 ot. Pat the meat dry
 on paper towels (or it will not brown), and add. Brown the meat, turning and to
 ssing the pieces,
 until nicely seared on all sides. (This is best done in batches so that the fry
 ing pan is not
 overcrowded. As each batch is browned, transfer to a heavy-bottomed casserole.)
 
 Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil to the frying pan, and add onions. Reduc
 e heat to
 medium-high, and fry until they turn caramel brown (about 25 minutes), stirring
  constantly to
 prevent burning. Add garlic and ginger, and fry for an additional 2 minutes. Ad
 d cumin, tomatoes
 and chiles, and continue frying until the tomato is cooked and the entire mixtu
 re is turned into a
 thick pulpy paste (about 3 minutes). Add yogurt and immediately turn off the he
 at. When slightly
 cool, puree in an electric blender or food processor, and add to the meat in th
 e casserole.
 
 Place a double layer of cheesecloth, about 6 inches square, on the work surface
 . Put cinnamon,
 cardamom, cloves, bay leaves in the center, bring up the four corners of the ch
 eesecloth to wrap
 the spices, and tie them to form a bag. Crush the bag slightly with a wooden ma
 llet or any heavy
 tool to break up the spices. Add the spice bag to the casserole.
 
 Add 4 cups of boiling water along with the salt, and stir to distribute the mea
 t into the sauce.
 Place a piece of aluminum foil on top of the casserole, and cover tightly with 
 the lid. Bring the
 contents to a boil on top of the stove.
 
 Place the casserole in the middle level of the oven for 2 1/2 hours. Or alterna
 tively, it may be
 cooked on top of the stove over low heat for 2 - 2 1/2 hours, or until the meat
  is fork tender.
 
 Remove the casserole from the oven or turn off the stove, and take off the lid.
   Remove the spice
 bag, and squeeze hard to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the bag. Ad
 d the cooked spinach
 and garam masala, and blend well, being careful not to break the fragile meat p
 ieces. Cover the
 pot, return it to the oven or stove, and cook for 5 minutes more. Turn off the 
 oven, and let the
 pot remain undisturbed for an additional 10 minutes. Check for salt, and if the
  sauce lacks
 adequate glaze, stir in a few tablespoons of oil. Serve.
 
 Note: This dish, just like another braised dish, tastes better with keeping. It
  is particularly
 good if made a few hours in advance, and allowed to rest at room temperature be
 fore being reheated
 and served. This dish keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, and also
  freezes well.
 Defrost thoroughly before reheating. To reheat, gently simmer over low heat unt
 il warmed through.
 Before serving, taste for salt, and if necessary, fold in a little garam masala
 .
 
 Serve with Pilaf or simple plain cooked rice.
 
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 NOTES : Entered into MasterCook by: Garry Howard, Cambridge, MA
 g.howard@ix.netcom.com
 Garry’s Home Cooking Website http://members.aol.home/garhow/cooking.htm