Monday, June 30, 2014

Thai red beef curry ... my way, the easy way!!

I'm sorry there haven't been many posts recently. We've just moved house and busy settling in, plus day job deadlines just got in the way. I'm so sorry, but I'm back on track now. On to the post ...

I found a jar of Thai red curry paste in the pantry and since I did not know what to make for dinner tonight, I decided to make a Thai red curry using the curry paste and do it with beef. In case you're curious, this is the curry paste I used.

As always, I sort of followed the instructions in the jar but I added a few additional things of my own, so this is not your traditional Thai red beef curry, but more my version of it.

Here's the recipe for what I did:

  • 1 jar Thai red curry paste (any brand)
  • 2 brown onions cut into large chunks
  • 800g casserole beef cut into slightly large bite size chunks
  • 1 large can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons garlic and chili sauce / paste
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 heaped teaspoon hot chili powder (optional, only if you want it to kick)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt to taste

  • In a large frying pan, slightly cook the onions in some olive oil until slightly translucent, remove.
  • Add some more olive oil into the frying pan, put in the whole jar of curry paste and fry over heat for about 2 minutes.
  • Add beef chunks and coat beef in curry paste and fry for a few minutes until the beef is well coated.
  • Transfer beef chunks and curry paste into a dutch oven, add onions into the pot.
  • Put the pot over heat and pour in the can of coconut milk. Note: shake the can well before opening.
  • Add another can (about 2 cups) of beef stock and mix well with coconut milk.
  • Add garlic and chili sauce, and taste to see if you are happy with the taste. If not, add a little more chili sauce and if you want more kick in your curry, add the chili powder.
  • Bring the curry to a boil and cover.
  • Put into oven at 120°C for 3 hours, checking occasionally that it has not dried up, and adding more beef stock if necessary.
  • After 3 hours and beef is tender, bring out of oven.
  • Add salt to season to your taste if necessary.
  • Serve over rice with some vegetables on the side or a light green salad.

This is a pretty easy curry to make overall, mostly because the curry paste is already pre-made and you don't have to do that from scratch. I expect it would be a lot more involved if you (or I) had to make the curry paste from scratch, but I have to admit that I don't like doing that, just because I don't like the way the stuff makes my entire apartment smell, so I'm happy to get it out of a jar. Just make sure that you get a good quality Asian brand, though any brand will do, because you are adjusting the flavor with additional chili sauce and stock to suit.

Most curries will tell you that you can just bring it to a boil and simmer over the stove for 10 minutes until the beef is cooked and it will be ready to serve. I don't do that because (1) I like my beef to be tender and slow cooking it in the oven will give me lovely tender beef and (2) it also allows the curry, chili and stock flavors to slowly integrate. You will get a much more well rounded flavor with slow cooking it.

I used beef stock in the recipe because I like that it gives the curry a lot more depth in the flavor, otherwise, I find the curry has too many high notes and not enough depth. If you don't want to use beef stock, feel free to just use water. With water, you will get a lot of just the curry paste coming through and I often find that the flavors are not well rounded enough with just the curry paste, hence the beef stock.

The entire apartment smelled a great deal of curry for the afternoon as this was cooking in the oven, but by the time I was done, the flavors were well integrated and the beef was tender. Definitely worth slow cooking in the oven!!

In total, I slow cooked the beef for 3 hours at 120°C for 3 hours and then another hour at 90°C but that was more because we were not ready to eat yet and I kept it in the oven to keep it warm. Something to note too, at 120°C, the liquid did not dry up though the curry sauce did thicken up a little, and I did not have to add more stock.

The curry was absolutely delicious and The Boy even had seconds, which is unusual these days because he's on a sort of diet and cutting back on the quantities he's eating.

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  1. Yum, will have to give this one a go... I did a Thai Green chicken curry last night, which was also yum!

    1. Super easy to make. Let me know if you do and how it turns out.