Beef Massaman Curry
I recently invested in a slow cooker, as we are well into Autumn and the weather is starting to cool down I am getting into slow-cooked meals. I'm not a huge fan of soups and stews, but I love curries and slow-cooked meats so I decided to bite the bullet and make it a bit easier on myself. I figure I can prepare the ingredients the night before, put them in the slow cooker the following morning and come home from work to a perfectly braised meal, my life will be so much easier!
My first experience with the slow cooker is this Beef Massaman curry. I actually cheated and bought a pre-made spice mix from Curry Traders. I think there's no shame in buying pre-mixed spices for curries, as generally you will need about 10 different spices and unless you intend to cook these types of curries regularly there is no point cluttering up your pantry with all the individual spice-jars. Having said that, if you like to make your own I will include the recipe for the spices needed also.
1.2 kg chunky diced beef (I used rump, with the fat trimmed off)
4 Tbsp oil
4 cloves garlic crushed
1 Tbsp ginger crushed
2 onions, diced
3 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp palm sugar
4 kaffir lime leaves
2 round, ripe tomatoes, diced
1 small red capsicum, sliced
2 potatoes, peeled and diced chunky
500ml tinned coconut milk
salt and pepper
Massaman curry paste/spice mix*
2 cinnamon quills
2 star anise
3 dried chilis, deseeded
1/4 cup unsalted peanuts
lime to serve
cooked rice to serve
1. In a frypan, add 1 Tbsp of oil with the diced onions, garlic, ginger and dried chilli and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes until soft. Remove from pan and set aside.
2. In the frypan, add the tomato, capsicum, spice mix and 1/4 cup of water. Stir and simmer for 5 minutes, transfer to a blender and process until smooth.
3. Place the remaining oil in the frypan and seal the beef chunks until just browned.
4. Transfer the beef to a slow cooker or crock pot, with the cooked onions, pureed capsicum and remaining ingredients. Stir well, then set to cook on low, covered, for either:
2 hours on the stovetop
6 hours in the slow cooker
if you are using a cast iron pot in the oven, then set temperature to 160 degrees celsius (320 Fahrenheit ) and cook for 2 hours or until the beef is tender.
5. Taste and add seasoning as needed then serve the beef curry over the rice with lime wedges to squeeze over the top. Enjoy!
*For the curry paste, I found a few different recipes for massaman spice mix if you would like to make your own, the main ingredients are coriander, cumin, cinnamon and cardamom.
This Curry paste recipe came from http://www.thaitable.com/thai/recipe/massaman-curry-paste and has all the same ingredients contained in my Curry Traders store-bought mix, so it will be the closest for flavour as mine.
Combine all together in a spice grinder or food processor and blitz until a smooth paste forms. You can use a mortar and pestle if you don't have a spice grinder, just be sure to pound the lemongrass first before the other ingredients as it is quite fibrous and takes a bit of work to get smooth.