My one son wanted to take food to the army for the week, as he always does. He’s not a fan of army food. I told him to please take the meat balls from Shabbat because I wanted to keep the beef curry so I could take a picture of it for my blog. My daughter quickly piped up, “But the beef looks like crap now!”. True, it had been made the day before and had spent the night in the fridge, so didn’t look as pristine as it had when it was fresh out of the slow cooker. But still, I wanted to share this wonderful recipe on my blog, and that meant taking a picture. So I took this as a challenge and got to work. Instead of my usual quick snap with my SmartPhone, I made a little bit of an effort, hauled out the big guns, my Canon EOS 760D, and set out to prove my daughter wrong.
I hope you enjoy the result. I promise to do better with my photography in the future, as long as my family doesn’t eat everything before I have a chance to make it pretty for a photo shoot.
But back to the food. That’s why we’re here after all. This is a simple and delicious slow cooked beef curry that relies on a red Thai curry paste that can be bought pretty much everywhere these days. If I can find it in my little supermarket in the boonies of Israel (seriously, I shop in a supermarket that is surrounded by orchards), then anyone can find it. If you don’t have a slow cooker, a couple of hours on low on the stove will also do the trick. But my slow cooker is one of my favorite appliances and I highly recommend buying one if you don’t have one yet. They’re very inexpensive and turn the toughest cut of meat into a tender delicious feast.
RED THAI BEEF CURRY
2 kg stewing beef cut into chunks
2 tablespoons oil
2 medium sized onions chopped
4 tablespoons red Thai curry paste
4 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
800 ml (28 oz / 2 cans) coconut cream
400 ml (14 oz) chicken stock
4 teaspoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 kaffir lime leaves (optional)
Juice of 1 lime or lemon
1 can baby corn cobs sliced thickly
200g (7 oz) mangetout/sugar snap peas topped, tailed and cut into bite sized pieces
2 carrots finely julienned
1 bunch asparagus cut into bite sized pieces (optional)
2 large red peppers thinly sliced
Coriander leaves roughly chopped to garnish
How to do it
- Heat the oil in a large pan or skillet and fry the onion over medium heat for a few minutes till it starts softening. Add the curry paste and ginger and stir for a minute or so. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, stock, sugar and lime leaves and bring to the boil, stirring.
- Lightly grease the slow cooker pot and add the beef pieces. Pour the sauce over the beef, cover and cook on low heat for 8-9 hours, until the beef is very soft.
- After 8-9 hours, add the vegetables, mix through, and cook for another 15 minutes or until the vegetables are just cooked. (Don’t overcook the mangetout. They should be very crunchy.) Add the lime/lemon juice once it’s all cooked. Serve hot.
- If you don’t have a slow cooker, after Step 1, add the beef to a large pot, cover with the sauce. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat, and simmer covered for about 1½-2 hours or until the beef is very soft, then add the carrots, peppers asparagus and corn, mix through and cook for another 20 minutes. When they are just soft, add the mangetout, mix through and turn off the heat. Add the lime/lemon juice.
- Garnish with roughly chopped coriander leaves.
Serve with white rice. Serves about 8.