Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Panang Beef Curry

My family and I LOVED this Thai curry.  I've made it every week for 3 weeks now.  Lol.  My 6-year old doesn't eat much, but he had three servings of this the first time I made it.  This is a Thai curry I hadn't tried until recently.  My Thai friend sent me some packets of the curry paste and I'm so grateful to her, lol.  I found it on Amazon so I'm ordering a tub, since the packets will be all gone come tomorrow.  Panang Curry is thick and sweet.  I made a Thai-inspired cucumber salad to go with this the last time I made it, and the combo was great together. Here is the recipe for that. 

This is great made on the stovetop, but last week, I was going to be gone all afternoon/early evening, so I cooked the meat, curry paste and some coconut milk together, then stuck everything in the crockpot for 5-6 hours.  It worked wonderfully!!  The beef was so tender.  I loved coming home to it.  If using the crockpot, it's ok to use a cheaper, tough cut of beef.  Just slice thin.

Edit Jan 2020: my new fave to make this is to just dump everything (except last 3 ingredients) into the insert of the crockpot the night before, cover, and refrigerate, not pre-cooking anything on the stove. In the morning just put the insert into the crockpot base and turn on to LOW.  This is a complete miracle on work mornings.  Lol. I also make the cuke salad the night before.  When I get home, just cook rice in the rice cooker, add the last 3 ingredients, and we can eat a delish meal.  I think it tastes the same as searing the beef on the stove and saves so much time.  This is one of my fam's fave meals. Edit June 2020: I just made this again and stuck a whole, unsliced round steak in the bottom of the crockpot. (Partially frozen, even!)  I just shredded it right before eating.  Still great!! I think this is the laziest way to make this, and it still tastes the same.

Panang Beef Curry
adapted from Splendid Table

50 grams (about 2 Tablespoons) Panang curry paste
2 regular (14 oz) cans coconut milk
1-2 lbs lean beef, (round steak, etc) thinly sliced (can also place whole in crock and shred before eating)
3 kaffir lime leaves, dried or fresh
2 red or green chilies, minced (optional), plus extra for garnish (I leave out for the kids)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons Thai palm sugar or brown sugar
20 fresh Thai (OR regular) basil leaves, plus extra for garnish

1. Preferred method in the slow cooker- dump first 5 ingredients in the slow cooker. (I even buy pre-cut beef stew meat to save time.)  Turn to low and cook 5-8 hours.  When ready to eat, add fish sauce, sugar, and fresh basil if you have it.

(You can even prepare this the night before- dump all into the insert of your slow cooker. Cover and refrigerate.  In the morning, place the insert into the crockpot base, turn to low, and walk away.  (You can try searing the beef + curry paste first before adding to the crockpot to see if you prefer that; some might find it more flavorful, but I can't tell the difference so I skip that part now.))

Note: You can increase the sauce by using 3 cans of coconut milk instead of 2.  Increase the curry paste, fish sauce, and sugar by one more Tablespoon.
Stovetop instructions:
1. Scoop 1 cup (250 ml) of the coconut cream into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in the curry paste and reduce the heat to medium-low; cook until the mixture is fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the beef to the saucepan and stir until well mixed. Add the remaining coconut milk. Cook for about 5 minutes more, or until the meat loses its pink color. Add the kaffir lime leaves, chilies (if using), fish sauce, and sugar. Stir until well combined. Stir in the fresh basil leaves.  Serve hot over rice.  
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