22 April 2018

Slow Cooked Beef Massaman Curry

Thai Massaman Beef Curry
Massaman curry is one of our favourites. Unfortunately, there aren’t many places near us making great versions of it. So we set about re-creating one to our liking.

For us, the meat should be so tender it should fall apart when touched with a fork. The potato should be just right, not too soft and mushy, but not hard either. There should be a healthy hit of peanut flavour and a hint of citrus tang. Not too much to ask for.

To achieve Massaman curry perfection, you’ll need to make it a few times and get a feel for it. The recipe below is our starting point. The key is making sure you cook the beef for a long time.

  • 4 tablespoons of curry paste (store bought, or homemade)
  • 1 kg beef, cut into 2-3 cm cubes
  • 1 kg potatoes
  • 400mL Coconut milk
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • Cornflour
  • A Bay leaf
  • Salt
  • Palm sugar
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • 2 yellow onions, cut into thin wedges
  • 4 cups of water (1 L)

Peel the onions and the potatoes. Chop the potatoes into 3-4cm cubes and cut the onions into thin wedges.

Cut the beef into 3 cm cubes. We used beef shoulder. Dust the beef in a mixture of cornflour and salt, and then brown in the pan and set aside.

Roast the peanuts until golden (3-5 min), and set aside with the beef.

Put half the coconut milk into a large pot on medium heat. Add the Massaman curry paste and stir to break up and infuse. Keep stirring to avoid sticking to the bottom. Add in the beef and peanuts and coat with the thick sauce. Cook for a few minutes until the flavors infuse.

Add in the remaining coconut milk, onions, the bay leaf and the water. (You could add the potato now, although we prefer to cook the meat a bit longer and add the potato an hour before serving)

Bring the liquid up to a simmer, and simmer for around an hour or until the meat is tender. (If you held back the potatoes, don’t forget to add them in.)

Once everything is nice and tender, add in the seasonings of tamarind, palm sugar and salt to taste. The tamarind gives a nice citrus type of flavour, and brightens the curry before serving. You could also use lime juice, or a bit of orange juice for a different take.

Serve over freshly cooked rice.

Ingredients for homemade curry paste (see here)


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