Beef Massaman Curry

When I was in England last time I was able to stock up on some ingredients which are harder for me to find in Spain.  I took them back to make sure I was able to cook up a curry when the urge struck. It tends to strike quite often but sometimes I just can’t do anything about satisfying it if I don’t have the ingredients to hand.  This means that curry pastes are the best way for me to sort out the curry craving as the spices often linger unloved in the cupboard. Yes, I admit it.

Beef Curry (4)

The Caribbean Food store in Bexhill is run by a jolly character who sells a range of curry pastes (and I really should have taken note of the brand name) which contain no artificial nasties – perfect for someone who loves to cook but feels a little guilty that she is not blending her own spice mixes. I was not familiar with Massaman Curry – a Thai curry which gives a gentle heat, sweet, sour, spicy and is utterly delicious.

Beef Curry (1)

The recipe comes from the BBC Good Food site with just a few little tweaks, but I have given details here too. I omitted the peanuts because I didn’t have any, but I expect they add a delicious crunch to the finished dish.

Ingredients to serve 4

  • 85g unsalted peanuts
  • 400ml can coconut cream
  • 4 tbsp massaman curry paste
  • 600g stewing beef steak, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 450g waxy potatoes, cut into 2½ cm chunks
  • 1 onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tbsp palm or soft light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced, and chopped fresh coriander to serve

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6, then roast the peanuts on a baking tray for 5 mins until golden brown. When cool enough to handle, roughly chop. Reduce oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

Heat 2 tbsp coconut cream in a large casserole dish with a lid. Add the curry paste and fry for 1 min, then stir in the beef and fry until well coated and sealed. Stir in the rest of the coconut with half a can of water, the potatoes, onion, lime leaves, cinnamon, tamarind, sugar, fish sauce and most of the peanuts. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 2 hours in the oven until the beef is tender.

Sprinkle with sliced chilli and the remaining peanuts, then serve straight from the dish with rice.

If you are a curry fan too, how about this one? Or this vegetarian curry? Or nip on over to Soup Guru’s great blog and check out this gorgeous Indian Minced Beef Curry….

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55 thoughts on “Beef Massaman Curry

  1. Most of my Malaysian relatives use curry pastes – I don’t know a single one who makes theirs from scratch! I use them all the time as well, but I’ve never made Massaman curry before. Yours looks delish! I do like the potatoes and peanuts in it – makes it quite an unusual dish! 🙂

  2. Oh yum! I love a good Massaman Beef curry, but haven’t ever actually made it myself. Like you, I’ve always felt a bit guilty about the idea of using pastes from a jar, but next time I’m in the Asian grocer, I’ll be sure to read some of the labels to find some all natural options – great to know they’re out there!

  3. I love the taste of Massaman curry and would make it more often were it not for the high fat content. Having cooked it from scratch for decades it is still a Malaysian curry in my mind and I have eaten it on the Peninsula far more often than in Thailand. This seems a lovely variation given its rather specific taste by the use of both tamarind and lime – I actually do not put potatoes in the mix . . . but that, as usual, is me 🙂 ! Actually the spice mix is extremely easy to make, but I guess my mortar and pestle are in use multiple times a week so it may be a matter of practice!!

  4. Thanks for the lovely mention, I´m honoured! 🙂 I always use curry pastes, never made them from scratch, I also read the labels to make sure they are as natural as possible, and they usually are (who needs preservatives with all that hotness?).
    Here in Catalonia I found them in Asian groceries stores, the problem is that their stock is very random, so when I do find them I stock up (they last ages on the fridge or unopened in the cupboard). But the first ones I had, years ago when I first started cooking Thai, I had asked a friend who was living in England by the time to bring them to me…

    1. You’re welcome! I too have problems in Spain finding all that I need (sometimes I get lucky) so England is the place to buy :0 Let me know if you ever need anything and I can mail it to you from England when I’m here (for the next few months). I’d be happy to do so.

      1. Thank you! I still have a lot of stuff in stock, but is getting harder and harder to find curry pastes, so I will count on that! 🙂

  5. I’m way too much a novice to make my own curry pasts, Tanya. Besides, I don’t prepare curry dishes that often. If I buy all of the ingredients to make a curry paste, they will go stale long before I will use them up. Buying pre-made means much less waste. Even so, I don’t believe I’ve seen Massaman curry paste but will look for it. This dish sounds delicious and I want to learn to make a curry with beef.

    1. Just like me – in fact I went out with some girlfriends last night for a curry and that way we get to try a few different ones at the same time! Beef curry is really good made with a cheaper cut of beef which you can cook slowly until it’s tender and full of delicious flavours J

  6. Que buena pinta!!! I know what you mean about not being able to access a lot of Asian ingredients here in Spain. But lucky for me, the Chinese supermarkets here in Bilbao stocks some of the base ingredients needed for my Asian cooking! 😊

      1. I returned to Spain to be with Big Man for a couple of months 9 years ago…and until recently (now we work together) never really went back to England apart from visits!

  7. That sounds delicious!
    I don’t suppose this will effect your small village in the least, but I’ve noticed that lots of little Indian shops have opened in Barcelona during the last 20 years and it’s now quite easy to find curry ingredients in Cataluña 😉

    1. We can get them in the English shop in a nearby village (I think they come via Gibraltar!) but they’re very expensive. Things are slowly changing in the Spanish supermarkets with more spices available and even basmati rice in Mercadona!

  8. That looks delicious. I am lucky as I live close to the Birmingham ‘Balti triangle’ which means there are no shortage of wonderful Indian restaurants in easy reach when a need for a curry strikes. There are even FOUR Indian restaurants in my little town 🙂 (Only one really great one in my opinion!)

  9. I have never made my own curry paste before – there are so many wonderful ones available and usually contain ingredients like lemon grass which I don’t keep at home all the time. Your Massaman curry sounds delicious!
    Have a super day Tanya.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  10. I think your curry sounds terrific. If we have all the time in the world and access to a large amount of fresh ingredients, I guess making your own paste would be nice. But in the real world, I would never hesitate to use a paste…especially one that has no preservatives. Have a safe trip to England…I know your parents much be so excited with your new project. 🙂

  11. I love how the British groceries have huge sections of Indian and other curry ingredients, much like we now have aisles of Mexican and Central American stuff here. I know that was absolutely delicious!

  12. I’ve never met a curry I didn’t love and green curry and Masaman are two of my faves. The masaman with the beef sounds particularly good as I’m pretty sure I’ve only ever had it with chicken and finished with avocado. Now I may have to go on the hunt for some good curry paste! Glad you arrived in England safely.

  13. I love the look of this. I would just up the spuds and turn this into massaman spud fest. I love the combo of coconut cream, peanuts and potatoes…couldn’t get much better honestly. Pinching this recipe and adulterating it with shameless impunity 😉

  14. I’ve been big into curries lately. This looks delicious. I’ve been making them to try to get rid of a cold. I was afraid at first that using the paste would be cheating, but it’s actually just so easy and delicious. I’m over my hesitation. Yum!

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