This is the Goan version of “meat and three veg” and is a dish from their Portuguese heritage. In fact, it is most commonly called by its Portuguese name of Bife de Goa.
It has everything that the Portuguese loved, and inspired in Goan cuisine, namely chilli, garlic and vinegar. It is an everyday dish.
This dish is ridiculously easy to prepare. The only time-consuming part is the preparation of the meat. The meat needs to be flattened and made quite thin. Rather than buying meat that is sliced thinly already, flattening by pounding tenderises the meat. So much so, you can substitute almost any cheaper cut of beef into this recipe. Given that the overnight marination includes vinegar, you should get an exquisitely tender texture to the meat. If using cheaper cuts of meat, make sure you trim any excess fat before flattening. This is a relatively quickly cooked dish, and there is not enough time for large pieces of fat to render into the dish.
You need to start this dish the day before cooking to allow time for the marination.
We serve this dish on its own, often with a kachumber. And some of our very best pickles or chutneys, too.
- Grind the garlic, peppercorns, and salt to a thick paste.
- Using a meat tenderiser, pound the steak into even, flat steaks as thin as possible without breaking up the meat.
- Work the garlic paste into the meat thoroughly. Put on a plate, cover and leave to marinate overnight in a refrigerator.
- In a large wide pan, place the onions in an even layer covering the entire bottom of the pan. Layer the tomatoes evenly over the onions, and then layer the potatoes over those. Add the beef in an even layer over the potatoes, and pour over any remaining marinade, particularly any garlic pieces. Sprinkle over the Kashmiri chilli powder, and drizzle with the oil.
- Place the pan on a medium heat, and cook, uncovered for five minutes. Do not mix or stir.
- Add the vinegar and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to very low, and place a dinner plate over the meat. Cover the pan and cook on a low heat for 30 minutes.
- Check every 10 minutes to ensure there is at least some liquid in the pan. Gently shake the pan occasionally but do not stir. If you need to add water use as little as possible.
- After 30 minutes, increase the heat to medium and remove the dinner plate and lid. Check every 5-10 minutes to ensure the dish hasn't dried out. If there is no liquid left, ensure the potatoes are cooked by using a skewer. Add water, a tablespoon at a time if required.
- Once the potatoes are cooked, the sauce should be very thick, but there won’t be much of it. At best there would be a few tablespoons. If there is more, take heat to high for a minutes to allow it to reduce. Be carelful not to allow dish to burn.
- Serve directly from the cooking pan.
- The dinner plate will hold the meat down and stop it from curling as it cooks.