Beef Madras

beef curry in bowl

Beef Madras

This easy, spicy beef curry recipe is absolutely, tongue tinglingly gorgeous!  The recipe here is for a hot curry but you can of course use less of the spice blend.

Beef curry does take a while to cook - it should be very soft and tender.  But the preparation time before it goes in the oven is minimal.  We suggest cooking this in the oven but you can of course cook on the hob too.  If you can, cook it the day before so that the flavours really sink in.  See more notes about this below and other suggested easy curry recipes.

Serves: 4-6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour and 25 minutes
Method: Oven (or hob)
Heat scale: 🌶️🌶️🌶️

Heat the oven to 170 fan or 180 conventional.

1-2 onions, finely chopped
5cm ginger, grated
4 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped
2 tbsp tomato puree
10-12 tsps Madras spice blend (for a very hot curry)
1200g beef, chopped into similar size cubes
300ml beef stock
Salt, to taste


  1. Heat the oil and cook the onions slowly, for around 10 minutes, until they are soft and translucent. 
  2. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes
  3. Add the tomato paste and cook for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add a splash of water and then the Madras spices and cook, stirring, for a minute or so.
  5. Turn up the heat and add beef and salt.  You want the meat to fry and brown so it should be quite hot but keep everything on the move.  
  6. Once the meat has browned add the stock.
  7. Put the pan into the oven.  The cooking times can really vary according to the size of the beef and the quirkiness of your oven so check this after 45 minutes to see how it's all looking.  But it will likely take at least an hour and possibly as long as an hour and a half, but keep checking as you don't want it to dry out.
  8. If at any point it's looking too dry, add a little more beef stock or boiling water.  If it looks like the sauce needs to be reduced, take the lid off for the last 20-30 minutes cooking time.  Make the day ahead if you can!  See our top tips below.
Cooking your Beef Curry the day before - our top tips

We suggest cooking your curry the day before you would like to eat it.  This is not essential, but somehow the flavours have properly mingled and the depth of flavour is incredible.  There are a few top tips to cooking your beef curry the day before:

Although we say that the meat should be very soft and tender in the method, if you are going to reheat the next day, you should make sure that it is JUST ready or even could do with a TINY bit more cooking.   Heating it up on the day you are going to eat it will finish off the cooking process completely.

Make sure there is enough liquid to cope with a reheat. If it's looking very dry when you go to reheat, perhaps add 100ml of beef stock to allow it to stay moist whilst cooking.  Or if you think it's too 'saucy', leave the lid off for some of the time to reduce the sauce.

Add any final touches to your curry after you have reheated on the day of eating - i.e if you are adding any additional greenery like spinach or garnishing with coriander.

Check your seasoning again before serving.

More Easy Curry Recipe Ideas:

For other curry cooking tips

Cooking Curry For A Crowd

Converting this recipe to cook in the slow cooker

Or try our Goan Beef Curry, Chicken Madras, Prawn Korma or browse our Vegetarian Curry recipes.

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