Beef, Main Attraction

Massaman Beef Curry


Sometimes I eat something in a restaurant and it is so delicious I could never imagine I’d be able to make it at home. Such was the case with Massaman Curry. But guess what? It’s not difficult at all if you just cheat a little. Making my own Massaman curry paste from scratch was kind of satisfying, one time, but it had such an enormous list of ingredients it’s unlikely I will ever do it again. Thankfully there are some fantastic commercial curry pastes out there!

This is the perfect dish for winter as it’s closely related to our traditional Nova Scotian beef stews, but much much much more exciting.


Massaman Beef Curry  

1 lb. Beef Roast (nothing expensive, Inside Round or Boneless Blade)

2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil

1/4 cup Massamam Curry Paste (I used Thai Kitchen, in NS find it at Eos or Pete’s)

1 can decent Coconut Milk

2 tablespoons Fish Sauce

2 tablespoons Brown Sugar

1 large Onion, peeled and thickly sliced

1 pound Potatoes, peeled and cut in 1 1/2 inch chunks

1 pound Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut in 1 1/2 inch chunks

A very large handful of Peanuts, roughly chopped

Chopped Cilantro, to serve

Cut the beef roast into 2 inch chunks, then thinly slice each chunk against the grain. Sprinkle with the salt. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat, then add the oil and half the beef. Cook stirring occasionally, until the moisture has evaporated and the beef has browned on both sides. Remove from the pot and brown the remaining beef. When that batch has browned, remove the beef and reduce the heat to medium.

Stir in the curry paste, toast for a few seconds, then whisk in the coconut milk, fish sauce and brown sugar. Scrape the beef and any juices back into the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook 30 minutes. Add the onions and potatoes with enough water to almost, but not completely, cover the potatoes. Like an alligator in a pond-I stole that from Gabrielle Hamilton. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the chunks of sweet potato and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, another 10 minutes or so. Stir in the peanuts. Serve with rice (or not) and the chopped cilantro.