Beef massaman curry is something that we often enjoy when dining out but have never thought to make ourselves at home. We love curries, of all varieties, and often make vegetarian ones packed full of different vegetables. So it made a nice change to make a meat based curry, and my favourite thing about massaman curry is the addition of potato and peanuts! Anything with nuts in, I’m all over.
We hunted around the web for a good recipe that we could follow easily. So many are quite complicated, and to be fair it does take a while to make, so I would suggest leaving it for a weekend meal. Or perhaps a Friday night if you’re staying in to watch Gogglebox… Just me?!
Having said that, the recipe we used still looks slightly terrifying, but please don’t let the length put you off! The main bulk of the recipe is making the curry paste, whereas you could simply by this from any supermarket. But where’s the fun in that?! I always feel like I’ve accomplished something when we make our food from scratch. It’s a great sense of achievement! And once you build up your collection of spices it will be super easy to make future recipes too.
Ingredients (serves 4)
For the massaman curry paste:
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 whole star anise
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 5 to 6 dried hot red Thai chilies, soaked in warm water for about 15 minutes and drained
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander stalks
- 6 garlic cloves
For the braise:
- 1 pound beef cut into large bite-sized chunks
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup beef stock
For the curry:
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 cup coconut milk, stirred
- 2 large potatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks
- 1/4 tsp tamarind paste, plus more to taste
- Sugar, to taste
- Fish sauce, to taste
- 1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts
- 75g basmati rice
- Massaman curry paste
How to make the curry paste:
- Using a pestle and morta pound the star anise, dried chilies, onion, garlic and coriander, one at a time together. Add the rest of the ground ingredients and mix thoroughly. Leave to one side.
How to braise the beef:
- Place the beef in a large pan. We have a giant pan that we make soups and curries in. This is perfect as it is large enough to house all of the ingredients and you can freeze any leftovers to be enjoyed at a later date. It’s well worth the investment!
- Pour the coconut milk and stock over top. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium-high heat, then turn the heat down and cover.
- Cook on very low heat (possibly the lowest) for 1.5 to 2 hours, until the beef is tender.
- Lift the cooked beef out of the liquid. Strain the liquid into a bowl and keep to one side for later.
How to make the curry:
- Clean the pan used for braising the beef and heat the oil over medium-high heat and add 4 tablespoons of massaman curry paste. Sauté the paste for a couple of minutes, until fragrant.
- Add the coconut milk and 1 cup of the liquid you’ve kept to one side. Bring to a gentle simmer, then add the beef chunks and potatoes.
- Season the curry with the tamarind, a few splashes of fish sauce, and some sugar. Bring back to a low simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook for about 20 to 30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
- Place the basmati rice in a medium sized pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes.
- Serve the rice and spoon over the curry. Top with a couple of fresh chillies for an extra kick, and the peanuts.