Friday, March 25, 2016

Thai Massaman Curry with Beef

I've had a container of Massaman Curry sitting in my pantry for a few months now, unopened.  I finally put an end to that the other week when I made this beef curry.  It was very good!  Massaman Curry is Thai, but inspired by Indian flavors.  You can make your own curry paste but why would you, when you can buy really good stuff and save yourself so much work?  ;)  (I have made my own yellow curry paste before, but I wouldn't again.... I have some of that (storebought) in my pantry now too.)  This recipe braises for a while, so you can use a tough cut of meat.  I think I used chuck steaks and they were great.
Note: This uses tamarind paste.  I have some my Thai friend gave me from Thailand.  :)  (Thanks!) I've heard you can use lime juice as a sub, to get that sourness, or just leave it out.

Also- this recipe needs to cook for at least 1.5 hours, so plan ahead.
Thai Massaman Curry with Beef
adapted from the Kitchn

For the braise:
1 pound beef chuck roast, cut into large bite-sized chunks
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup chicken or beef stock

For the curry:
1 tablespoon coconut or neutral oil
4 tablespoons massaman curry paste (storebought or homemade)
1/2 cup coconut milk, stirred (just use the rest of the can)
2 large potatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks
1/4 teaspoon tamarind paste (or 1 tablespoon tamarind water), plus more to taste
Sugar (or palm sugar), to taste
Fish sauce, to taste
1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts
Cooked rice, for serving

1.  Braise the beef: Place the beef in a heavy Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot with a lid. Pour the coconut milk and stock over top. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium-high heat, then turn the heat down and cover. Braise on very low heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the beef is tender and just holding its shape.

2.  Lift the cooked beef out of the braising liquid. Strain the liquid into a bowl and reserve.

3.  Finish the curry: Wipe out the pot used for braising the beef and replace it on the stove. Heat the oil over medium-high heat and add 4 tablespoons of massaman curry paste. Sauté the paste for a couple of minutes, until fragrant.

4.  Add the coconut milk and the braising liquid to the curry paste. Bring it up to a gentle simmer, then add the beef chunks and potatoes. Season the curry with the tamarind, a few splashes of fish sauce, and some sugar. Bring back to a low simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook for about 20 to 30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

5.  Taste and adjust seasonings in the curry, adding more fish sauce, sugar, or tamarind, until the curry is a perfect balance of gentle spiciness, saltiness, tanginess, and sweetness. Stir in the peanuts and serve with coconut rice.
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