This is a dry style curry that works brilliantly as part of a shared meal with rice and stir fried greens. Unlike a lot of curries there isn’t a long list of ingredients, just a slow cooking time to ensure the beef cheek becomes as tender as possible.
You can use other braising cuts of beef such as oyster blade or chuck, if you can’t find beef cheek.
3 small red chillies
6 garlic cloves
3 cm piece of ginger, sliced
3 cm piece of galangal, sliced
2 tbs oil
800g beef cheek
1 tbs oil
2 stalks lemongrass (white part only)
2 kaffir lime leaves
400ml coconut cream
1 tsp sugar
100g shredded coconut
To make the paste, blitz up all the curry paste ingredients in a food processor or smash to a smooth paste in a mortar & pestle.
Heat the oil in a large heavy based pot & fry off the curry paste on a medium heat for 5 minutes until fragrant and caramelised.
Slice the beef into cubes or chunks and add to the paste with the lemongrass, sugar and lime leaves. Stir well to coat the beef in the paste.
Add the coconut cream and 300ml of water and bring to a gentle simmer.
Cook on a gentle simmer for approximately 1 and ½ hrs. Give the curry a stir every once in a while, to make sure the liquid isn’t evaporating too quickly. If it is, turn down the heat further and add a little more water.
When most of the liquid has evaporated, dry fry the coconut in a separate pan on low heat until golden. Add the coconut to the curry and stir.
Continue to cook the curry (stirring as often as possible) on a low heat for another 30 minutes, until all the liquid has evaporated and the curry is now frying in the oil that has separated from the coconut cream.