Beef Massaman Curry Recipe
By Founder and CEO Chris Balazs
It’s no secret that in the Balazs household we love to eat beef. In the early days when Provenir was still just a dream, we were processing our Sage Farm beef at our own on farm butchery. This grass-fed beef was sold to restaurants and at farmers markets, but would also end up in the homestead kitchen. The meat in the kitchen fridge often included lesser known cuts, the cooking of which has long been a part of our family’s repertoire.
A great use for many of the artisan cuts that benefit from low and slow cooking (and sometimes a combination of a few different cuts at our place) is a flavoursome and hearty curry recipe. A good Beef Massaman recipe is certainly a favourite here and is a dish that everyone loves. It was also a great way to feed fussy kids when they were younger!
There are a few variations to this recipe, often a consequence of approximated liquid pours and a few extra ingredients thrown in from the garden depending on what is in season. So, in the spirit of utilising what is available, please feel free to make this Massaman Beef recipe your own.
In the Beef Massaman ingredients I have used half of the 1.5kg Beef Short Rib Roast, however you can substitute this for any of the meat cuts in our Beef Slow Cook Pack. Any one of Provenir’s artisan cuts would be ideally suited to this recipe (variations are often utilised in our kitchen). If you’re interested, you can learn more about some of these cuts at ‘The Wonderful World of Artisan Beef Cuts and How to Cook Them’.
This Beef Massaman Curry recipe serves four but if you have a few mouths to feed it’s worthwhile to double it – the leftovers never go astray!
Massaman Short Ribs
- 600-750g of beef short ribs (or substitute)
- 1.6 litres of coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon of peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
- 300g of potatoes and sweet potatoes – you can use either but we like a combination of both, potatoes peeled and cut into quarters and sweet potato diced a little more finely.
- 10 small brown onions, peeled (or three large ones cut into quarters)
Massaman Curry Paste
- 1 red onion, diced
- 5 crushed garlic cloves
- The white part of one decent-sized lemongrass stalk, finely sliced
- 3cm piece of galangal, peeled and finely sliced
- 8 coriander roots
- 5 dried long red chillies, seeds removed and soaked in water (if you are cooking for children or people that are sensitive to chilli this could be reduced to two).
Massaman Spice Mix
- 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
- 1 cardamom pod
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 star anise
- 1 tablespoon of sea salt
- Steamed white rice
- Roasted peanuts
- Fresh coriander leaves
- Lime wedges (several per person if you like a generous squeeze of lime like me)
- Divide the short ribs into pieces and quickly sear the outside of the beef ribs in a large pot, then add the coconut milk and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for a least 1½ hours. The idea is to cook until the beef is soft and comes apart easily, so you can add some extra time here as needed.
- In the meantime, make the curry paste. Fry the onion, garlic, lemongrass, galangal and coriander roots for 5 minutes in a large frying pan with a lid handy. The ingredients will be quite dry, so it’s important to stir them continuously to stop any of the ingredients catching. Drain the chillies and add them to the pan, along with a splash of water then cover and allow to cook for 2 minutes, or until the onion is soft.
- Remove from the heat and cool slightly, then transfer to a blender to form a smooth paste. You will need 3 tablespoons of paste for this dish, and the remainder can be frozen for use next time.
- To make the spice mix, preheat the oven to 150°C. Arrange all the spices on a baking tray and roast for 10 minutes, or until the spices are fragrant. Allow to cool briefly, then grind in mortar and pestle until you have a fine powder. You’ll likely need to grind the spices in batches and it’s important to make sure the surfaces that you are working with are dry so as to make this process easier.
- Heat the peanut oil in a large, deep frying pan over medium-high heat and fry the spice mix and the curry paste for 5 minutes or until fragrant. The paste will begin to change colour as it cooks and it’s important to stir continuously to avoid burning. Add the sugar and continue to cook for 1-2 more minutes, then add the fish sauce, beef and coconut milk broth. Stir well to combine and bring to the boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium, add the potatoes and onions and cook for a further 20-30 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked. If the sauce is a little thin this cooking time can be extended to allow the liquid to reduce for a rich, creamy curry.
- Taste the curry and adjust the seasoning if required – you might like to add more sugar or fish sauce to balance the flavours, depending on your taste.
- Serve with steamed rice, top with the roasted peanuts and coriander leaves, and accompany with lime wedges, if desired.
Our Suggested Cuts for Beef Massaman Curry
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Provenir farmers utilise low stress handling techniques and raise their livestock on open pastures within a familiar herd structure; allowing the animals to express their natural character.
Instead of the livestock being transported, the abattoir comes to the farm. Eliminates unnecessary stress on animals associated with live transport. Less stress means less adrenalin produced, and thus more retained glycogen stores in the meat, leading to exceptional eating quality, taste and tenderness.
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Our on-farm process and artisan butchery techniques ensures that the quality of the meat is retained and maximised throughout the whole process.
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