I’m a firm believer in color and fragrance when cooking in the kitchen, and if I had to make a list of my top five hunger-inducing combos, curry would be number one.
Curry dishes have their roots in southern India, originating hundreds—and some argue thousands—of years ago. Originally, curry was a thin, soup-like, spiced dressing served with rice. Curry itself is a mixture of spices and herbs, such as cumin, coriander, turmeric and garlic. You can create curry dishes of poultry, fish, vegetables and, of course, wild game.
For this recipe, I use a yellow curry powder found at your local grocery store. This curry adds hints of spice and sweetness to the dish, and when combined with elk, orange bell pepper, sweet potatoes and coconut milk, you end up with a savory and satisfying combination.
1 ½ pounds elk roast, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 large orange bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups white sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 tablespoons yellow curry powder
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups light coconut milk
1 cup water
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
4 cups cooked white or brown rice
Heat a non-stick skillet over low heat and add unsweetened coconut flakes. Stir the coconut frequently until lightly browned (about a minute). Remove and set aside.
Lightly season elk cubes with salt. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the elk and brown on all sides. You may need to do this in batches. Remove and set aside when done.
Melt one tablespoon butter and add onions, bell pepper and garlic to pot. Sauté until onions and bell peppers are softened (about 10 minutes). Add yellow curry powder, cumin, sugar, salt, water and coconut milk and bring to boil. Add the elk and sweet potatoes
to the pot and reduce heat to low; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook for about 1-2 hours or until the elk meat is fork tender.
Serve over steamed rice and garnish with toasted coconut and fresh basil.