Friday, March 18, 2005

beef masaman curry

i was reading a blogger's post about her life in was heart rending! suspenseful! action-filled! and ultimately, heart-breaking...yet in the back of my avaricious foodie's brain a little demon whispered "beef curry, beef curry..." because it was the main item in one of her "adventures." it had been mentioned before by a suplada chef(di ba thess??) and i had several recipes in my collection. then the NYTimes featured an article by Mark Bittman, the minimalist chef, mentioning that slow-braised cheap cuts of beef are all the rage this season (winter-into-spring transition season?).
so it was time to try beef masaman curry. i've had fish curry, vegetable curry, and chicken curry, but never beef.
the whole house is quite fragrant right now with all the spices. based on a recipe from Asian Cooking, by Sallie Morris and Deh-ta Hsiung.

2 & 1/2 cups of coconut milk (used Handaan brand frozen "gata", available in the freezer section of Asian groceries, diluted with enough water)
1.6 pounds of beef "chuck" for stew
1 cup canned coconut cream, skimmed from canned coconut milk, (discard watery liquid that collects on the bottom of the can)
1 can Maesri masaman curry paste
6 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp. palm sugar or packed brown sugar
2 tbsps. of fish sauce
3 tbsps. of tamarind puree
2 wild lime leaves (also known as kaffir)
2-3 red potatoes, quartered
1 large red onion, quartered

1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts

simmer beef in coconut milk for about 40 minutes till almost tender. remove from heat.
in a separate pot, boil the coconut cream, watching closely so that it doesn't scorch, until it curdles slightly. turn down the heat and add the curry paste.
pour the cream-curry paste mixture into the beef and coconut milk and add the rest of the ingredients except the peanuts.
simmer 15-20 minutes. adjust the seasonings with fish sauce or salt and pepper.
add the peanuts and simmer 5 minutes more.
garnish with sliced red chili peppers or cilantro. serve with plenty of hot jasmine rice or French bread. the flavors are rich, and complex, a tangy and spicy hot curry.

CORRECTED!, thanks to the astute and dedicated chef of Our Kitchen, JMom! i forgot to list the onion and potato ingredients. whew! salamat JMom.