Those who’ve been around for a long time probably remember that I have lots of uses for Massaman Curry Paste. You should be able to easily find it at any Asian market or grocery, or, Amazon has several brands. Aroy-D also has it (not in Amazon for some reason) but that’s what I’m using now and can’t tell a difference.
So here’s a search link for all the stuff I’ve done with that paste. Here’s a classic beef stew using it (no rice, typical peas, carrots, and potatoes…and tenderloin). How about wild kill elk? Hamburger Helper?
Ok, so let’s do Thai Massaman Curry.
- About a pound or so of beef (stew meat is fine)
- 2 TBS Massaman curry paste (+/- to taste)
- 1 can coconut milk (not the “light” stuff; you’ll make soup)
- 1-2 cups beef stock, as needed
- 1 yellow sweet potato
- 2 carrots
- 1/2 – 2/3 yellow onion
- 1/2 cup raw unsalted peanuts (preferred, but whatever you can get)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- A dusting of the meat with cardamon (or 5 crushed pods)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 TBS Thai fish sauce
- 2 TBS brown sugar
- I do a slow cooker variation in order to get the meat tender. I don’t bother browning the meat, just into the slow cooker, set to high, dust with cardamon, add curry paste, cinnamon, bay leaves, and brown sugar then add beef stock until just right at the level of the meat (don’t cover the meat with stock, you’ll have too much to reduce later). Cover the pot. In about 2 hours, your beef should be fork tender.
- Strain the meat, remove the bay leaves and cinnamon, then set the broth to reduce in the wok while cooking your onion and peanuts. Let it get pretty thick.
- Then add everything else in (coconut milk, fish sauce, carrots and potato), bring to a boil, reduce to light simmer for about 20 minutes while the carrot and potato get tender, but don’t become mush. Important: this is where you want to test for flavor, adding more curry paste if you need.
- Serve it with rice on the side, and please don’t put your curry over the rice. Jasmine is the go-to, but I use parboiled rice for its far lower glycemic index, cooked in chicken stock. Preferred eating method is with a tablespoon (the way Thai people do). The spoon serves as a knife to cut the meat and as a scoop for the rice and sauce.
Go give it a try. I’ve been eating Massaman regularly, in any Thai restaurant I go to, and even off street carts in Thailand for over 20 years. I fist discovered it in 1989 at a restaurant name Beau Thai on Cannery Row in Monterey, CA (no longer there). It’s my favorite Thai dish and I like a lot of them.