Thursday, July 8, 2010

Beef Massaman Curry

Beef Massaman Curry
Home Cooking

I've been trying to use my slow cooker as much as possible since it's Winter now and well, what better opportunity will I have? Since I bought my machine, I've been wanting to try beef massaman. It was one of my favorite menu picks from Thai Orchid Square. I know a bit about Indian curry but nothing about Thai curry. There's green and red? Jungle curry? Panang curry?

Whatever... I find that it's all just a name. If you go to 2 different Thai (or Indian) restaurants and order curries with the same name, they tend to taste quite different anyway.

This is why the flavor of your massaman will largely depend on what brand of curry paste you use. Having never made it before, I just grabbed one at random from the supermarket and crossed my fingers.

Beef Massaman Curry
Serves 4-5

  • 1kg beef chuck steak, cut into chunks
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 onions, cut into wedges
  • lrg sweet potato, cut into large wedges
  • 200g of massaman paste
  • 2 tbsp of satay sauce
  • 250ml can of coconut cream
  • 250ml can of chicken broth (you can use chicken stock)
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar
  • 1 handful of roasted cashews
  • steamed rice and fresh lime, to serve

1. Season the steak and seal on high heat. Throw this into slow cooker.2. Brown the onions with the massaman paste. Add the coconut cream and satay paste. Add this mixture to the slow cooker.3. Add chicken broth and sweet potato chunks to the slow cooker and stir. You want enough liquid to cover the tops of the beef and sweet potato. If you need more, add more stock or some water.4. Cook on low for 6hrs or until meat is falling apart.
5. Before serving, balance the flavor with salt, palm sugar and/or more coconut/massaman paste if necessary.
6. Stir through a handful of roasted cashews and serve with steamed rice and a squeeze of fresh lime.

I find that whatever you put into the slow-cooker will disintegrate over time. This is why I decided to throw in HUGE chunks of meat and sweet potato. My sweet potato dissolved anyway which in a way was a shame, but it was nice because it seemed to thicken the sauce. In contrast, my beef was a bit TOO big and required a bit of pulling apart to make the pieces bite-sized on serving. On the plus, they were tender enough to break up.

Curry is a great Winter food and Thai flavors tend to be less heavy than Indian flavors. This has the freshness of coconut and lime but is still quite creamy and thick from the sweet potato. Best of all it's super easy to cook.

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