Here’s a lovely tummy warmer for y’all. It’s a weekend kind of dish if you make your own curry paste, but you won’t be disappointed.
Massaman Paste (adapted Christine Manfield Recipe)
If you can’t be bothered making your own, bought curry paste is totally fine but homemade is always worth the effort. This recipe makes enough for 4 curries that you can portion and freeze.
4 tsp cumin seeds
8 tsp coriander seeds
seeds from 5 cardamom pods
2 cinnamon sticks
8 dried birds eye chillies
6 fresh birds eye chillies
20 garlic cloves, chopped
2 small brown onions, chopped
5 coriander roots, scrubbed & chopped
50 ml rice bran oil
4 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
2 stalks lemongrass (white stem), chopped 75 g coconut sugar
80 mls fish sauce
60 mls tamarind paste
400ml can coconut cream
4 tbs massaman curry paste (see above)
600g brisket trimmed of fat and sliced thickly
450g kipfler potatoes, washed, scrubbed & roughly chopped 1 red onion sliced
4 kaffir lime leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbs coconut sugar
1 tbs fish sauce
1 lime squeezed
chopped roasted peanuts, to garnish
fresh chilli and thai basil or coriander to serve
To make the paste, dry roast the cumin, coriander and cardomom seeds, cinnamon sticks and dried chillies on a gentle heat until fragrant. Cool, then grind to a fine powder in a food processor/ thermomix or coffee grinder. Set aside.
Blend fresh chilli, garlic, onions, coriander roots and rice bran oil in a food processor, remove and cook paste over a low heat until slightly coloured and the rawness is cooked out.
Transfer the hot paste back to the food processor and thoroughly blend with the lime leaves, lemongrass, fish sauce, ground spices and remaining ingredients. Spoon into a jar, cover with additional rice bran oil and seal when cool. This will keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks, alternatively portion the paste and freeze.
Pre heat oven to 160C.
Heat 2 tbs of the coconut cream in a large casserole baking dish with a lid on the stove. Add the curry paste and fry for 2 minutes on a medium heat. Add the beef, coat in the paste and seal on all sides. Stir through the rest of the coconut cream. Half fill the empty can with water and add to the curry. Add the potatoes, onion, lime leaves, cinnamon, sugar, fish sauce and lime juice.
Bring to a simmer, cover and transfer the pot to oven and cook for 2.5 to 3 hrs or until the beef is meltingly tender. Additional fat from the beef and coconut cream will rise to the top of the curry, if this bothers you, you can easily pour it off or stir it through for extra richness, it’s totally up to you.
Sprinkle with peanuts, additional chilli and fresh herbs (or get cray like I did and use some pretty edible flowers)