Friday, February 9, 2007

Thai-style Beef Stew –Snow Flurries and Red Curries

Well, it’s not quite snowing here in San Francisco, but it’s COLD!! It's winter and that means it's stew season. Chucks of meats, slowly simmered in a flavorful broth for hours, enjoyed while gazing out a frosty window. This version of a classic Thai red curry will certainly do the trick.

This is what I always order when I can’t decide what to get at my local Thai restaurant. I love the way the potatoes soak up the spicy broth, and the slight crunch of the roasted peanuts make for a very happy ending.

2 1/2 pounds beef chuck roast (cut in 2 in. cubes)
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
1 onion
3 inch piece of ginger
2 tbl tomato paste
3 cloves garlic
1-2 tsp red curry paste
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp coriander

1 bay leaf
salt to taste
1/4 fish sauce
1 pint beef broth
1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
3 green onions
1/2 bunch basil and/or cilantro

Note: As you’ll see in the clip, I simmer the beef for about 45 minutes covered, and then add the sugar, potatoes, and peanuts. I cover it again and simmer for about 15 minutes more, then UNCOVER until the potatoes are tender as well as the beef. I like the last 20 minutes, or so, of cooking to be done uncovered so the stew reduces slightly and becomes a bit thicker.
Also, remember to taste and adjust for salt and heat!!


A. Rizzi said...

looks delish, i can almost taste it already. One question, do you think I could substitute hangar steak for the chuck or no? I love the flavor of hangar but do you think it has enough connective tissue for this cooking style?

Chef John said...

sorry, but you do need stew meat for this. like chuck.

Gatton said...

The embedded youtube link no longer works I guess? :-(. Says the video is no longer available.

Chef John said...

i just watched it. It works OK.

Anonymous said...

I like Thai and happy endings put in the same recipe.

ramona.designdeveloper said...

I just wanted to say that I love this recipe. This is the first recipe I ever tried from your site.

Since then, I have never doubted the outcome of every meal. I just get the ingredients as mentioned, and its always an amazing result!

Thank you always!

(We met at Peets coffee wayy long time ago! I have been following your recipe site ever since and always making great food)

Chef John said...

yes, i remember you! thanks!

Anonymous said...

Great recipe...thanks! FYI, I noticed that your list of ingredients is missing the cardomom and cumin you mention in the video demo.

Anonymous said...

This recipe looks amazing. Any advice on making this in a slow cooker? I figured I will sautee the onion, spices, ginger, garlic and beef together and then put it in the slow cooker with the broth, coconut milk and potatoes. Maybe add the brown sugar/fish sauce in the last hour of cooking? Green onions & basil in the last 30m? I am concerned that the coconut milk might "split". Any advice would be appreciated.

Unknown said...

Anonymous - have you tried in the slow cooker yet? I am tempt to try it too but would be interested to hear if you have tried yet...?

Emily said...

Chef John- Would this recipe freeze well? I am looking for ideas for yummy frozen meals to thaw out after our new baby comes. If it does freeze well, what type of container would you suggest freezing it in?

Emily said...

Ok, just made this tonight. It was pretty good, but I don't think it turned out the way it was supposed to. The meat (I used chuck roast) was super tough. Any idea why? I am wondering if I cut the chunks too big if that would do it? I followed your instructions exactly. Also, I put 2.5 tsp of Thai red curry paste and the broth turned out tasty but not spicy at all. Do they have more than one kind? Man, I wish I could just taste yours so I knew what I was shooting for!

Chef John said...

You have to simmer until tender. No matter how long it takes!

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef John,
I eat "starch on starch" all the time and has maintained a very healthy weight. Alot of cultures do this, indian etc. I happen to be from the Carribbean and we eat like this for almost every meal and we are not fat. Just saying...

Anonymous said...

To Emily regarding the heat issue. If you want the dish to have some heat in it fry the curry paste with some oil doing this brings out the chilly oil which is in the paste. the more you fry the hotter it gets. It can get realy hot! all of the thai curry paste are like this, it is also very aromatic when you do this (windows open) be careful not to burn the past.

lisa0116 said...

Chef John, YUMMY!!! Made this today and it is FANTASTIC! My son works in a Thai restaurant..we eat Thai food often. This recipe taste just like one of the dishes I get at the restaurant that I have been dying to make! I get chicken in it there. Made it with the chuck roast here. I know how to simmer a chuck roast so mine was very tender ;-). Also at the restaurant, theirs has carrots in it and they serve a bowl of organic brown rice on the you have it..starch on starch. LOL! They also put a few pieces of steamed broccoli on it and so did I. Thank you for all you do for us!

Judy said...

meep! I wish I had watched this one last time before I left for the store earlier to finish getting ingredients for this meal.
>>>The bay leaf is not on the written list, Chef!<<<

I am not going back for just bay leaf, and I am sure it is not the biggest flavor component in the meal. Oh well! I will let you know how mine comes out--plan to make it tomorrow! I LOVE LOVE LOVE Thai food, especially curries! I have been eying this recipe for weeks and finally had a lil spare cash so I could buy up all the stuff I needed to make it! Yay :)

Judy said...

Hi Chef! I see you added the bay leaf! Also, you left the word "cup" off the fish sauce amount, missed that til I was making it. I know this is an old recipe--but I am sure I am not the only person who goes thru your whole website hunting down gems ;)

So, I found the making of this stew to be a very interesting experience. I am a huge fan of Thai curries. I like em to have a little bite, but not burn the crap out of me lol. Even still, I wound up using more like 3 tsp of the curry paste. I dunno if the paste I bought was just that weak, or I have built up some kind of a tolerance to curry, but I just couldn't even taste it until I kept adding some. I also found that I needed a lot more salt than I expected to need, even tho I used the fish sauce. It's good that you always remind us to taste and adjust! Maybe I used too much beef broth--not sure.

I then used a different type of potato, because I found some cute small round guys that I thought would be good in here, but they didn't pick up the flavor (I even cut them in half!) If I do it again I will use the kind you did (or leave em out). I added some baby carrots, too--but I liked them in it!

I also wound up simmering this a looonnnggg time (way past the suggested times) to get everything tender. I am not sure if I had the heat too low, or if this can be normal, since I really have not made a stew on top of the stove before. (You have made me into a kitchen experimenter, Chef!)

The adding of the cilantro was super important, it turned out. I didn't use any fresh basil, but I did add a little dried, and even with all the flavors in the stew, it didn't really come alive until the very last when I added the cilantro. That hit of fresh flavor was just the boost it needed :)

Overall pretty tasty! I ate so much of it yesterday I could barely walk! lol

I hope you do more new "fusion" cuisine on the blog. I know you enjoy mixing Thai and American stuff--and I enjoy trying it!! I am glad I found this old recipe and gave it a whirl :) Thanks Chef! You rock!