Monday, July 11, 2011

Coconut Milk Red Curry Beef Short Ribs and Cauliflower - A Classic American Curry

If I had to (like at gun point) "invent" a new fusion cuisine, I'd go with "American Curry." It would combine the best of our country's classic stews with the exotic spices we associate with the cuisines of Asia. This simple, braised beef short ribs recipe is a good example of what that style of cooking could produce.

I really love to eat this kind of food. Who doesn’t love a nice batch of slow-cooked short ribs, but we can get in a rut with how they're presented. That's not an issue here, as the spicy-sweet, aromatic sauce makes them anything but ordinary. We should take a lesson from the lands of curry, and realize that comfort foods don't have to be bland to work their soul-warming magic.

I'm already getting excited thinking up American curry variations for things like chicken and biscuits, Texas chili, and Irish stew. This could be fun. Of course, I'd love to hear which iconic American stews you like to see given this treatment. Enjoy!

4 pounds beef short ribs
salt and pepper as needed
1 tsp garam masala
cayenne to taste
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp red curry paste, or to taste
2 tbsp tomato paste
4-6 cloves garlic
1 cup coconut milk
2 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 star anise
1 tsp fish sauce, or to taste
1 head cauliflower
4 green onions, chopped
1 cup chopped basil leaves

View the complete recipe


André said...

Great! I love all kinds of ragouts.

Unknown said...

Genius... I HAVE to try this out... Just used a batch of short ribs for my chili... two batches of short ribs in a week can only be good for you, right?

shristy said...


Anonymous said...

happy bday chef :)

Rita said...

perfect recipe for those chilly summer nights.

Anonymous said...

Short ribs are always impossible for me to find and when the store does have them, they're so expensive. Chef, how doe you think regular country ribs would taste?

Christy said...

Why did you use chicken broth instead of beef? I am new to your site and am curious!

Chef John said...

So it's not too beefy :-) It has all those ribs, so I think the chick works better for this.

Cooking Ventures said...

Happy B-Day Chef John! Here are my ideas for fusion dishes with curry:
1) Chicken Curry Pot Pie
2) Chicken Curry and Noodles
3) Lamb Curry Shepherd's Pie
4) Curry Tacos
5) Hot Wings - Curry-style
6) Risotto Curry

PattyinCT said...

I like curry in my scrambled eggs too:) Just sayin...

Lisa said...

I just sort of stumbled across your site this week and I am in love with this site! I love the step by step instructions, the delicious recipes, and the pinch of humor. Thanks so much for all the great info, I will be back often! P.S. I hope you've had a wonderful birthday!

Fat Chief said...

can i sub the cauliflower
with potatoes

Asian Malaysian said...

Kenjiro Yamakawa, the first japanese to eat curry and beef curry in particular in the 1871 got his first exposure to the stuff on a ship bound for the United States starting the whole "western trend" in Japan that continues to this day. So, its not a fusion dish, Chef John; youre just bringing it back home for Old Glory. Happy birthday, dude!

Steve said...


This looks great and I'm looking forward to making it with one modification. My local market has started carrying lamb breast and I think that would work perfectly in this recipe with little or no modification (I'd probably back off on the roasting time a little, given that the lamb is less meaty than the beef).

But I'm really only posting this to curry favor.

Chef John said...

Nicely done! :-)

Anonymous said...

I really like the way you think.

Mary@ said...

yum yum yum! Hard to go wrong with coconut red curry!

Omaria said...

Hapy belated birthday Chef John!!!

Say, could you replace the beef in this with something else, like tofu, or another vegi, mushroom?

Anonymous said...

Hello Chef John! Hope you had a great birthday! :)

I have a question. 350F is the lowest heat setting for oven in the house (crazy right?). Is it ok if I can leave it in there at 350F for 2 1/2 hours?

Thank you in advance.

Chef John said...

Yes, but I'd start checking at 1 3/4 hr.

Anonymous said...

If I tried this with potatoes and shiitake mushrooms in place of the beef should I add more liquid? Will the potatoes soak up a lot of it?

Foodtraveler said...

Fantastic, I have been looking for new way to play with short ribs. As for fusion comfort food suggestions. I was recently in Italy on Lake Como, Terminus Hotel. Chef was from Sri Lanka, he made Chicken Rissoto with curry cream and rosemary. It was outstanding. I am enjoying your blog.

Unknown said...

I cannot find beef short ribs anywhere I live (outside the US). Is it possible to replace beef short ribs with something else? What would you recommend?