By John Ash
One of America’s most talented chefs and inspirational cooking teachers, John is known for his creative combinations of foods and flavors. He is the founder of John Ash & Co., in Santa Rose, California, and is Culinary Director of Fetzer Vineyards Wine and Food Center at Valley Oaks.
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Curry Powder (to taste)
1 Cup Onion, Chopped
1 Teaspoon Garlic, Finely Chopped
1 cup Seeded and Chopped Ripe Tomatoes or Substitute Drained, Canned Diced Tomatoes
1 Cup Red or Yellow Sweet Peppers or a Combination, Coarsely Chopped
1/2 Teaspoon Seeded, Minced Jalapeno or Serrano Chile (or to Taste)
2 Tablespoons Golden Raisins
1 1/2 Pounds Country Ham, Cut into 1/2 inch Cubes
1 Bottle Of Pale Beer
3 Tablespoons Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
Salt and Freshly Grounded Pepper
3 Cups Hot, Cooked Rice, Made from 1 Cup Long Grain Rice
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and the curry in a large, heavy skillet over moderate heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft, but not brown. Add the tomatoes and cook for a minute or two. Stir in the sweet peppers, chile and raisins. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the remaining oil to a separate skillet and heat over moderate heat. Add the ham and cook for 2 to 3 minutes to lightly brown. Add beer, cover and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes. Add the ham and liquid to the vegetables and simmer covered for 5 to 7 minutes more. Uncover, stir in cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve accompanied by hot rice. Serves 4.