The addition of Thai aromatics imparts a very distinctive take on this Asian Beef classic curry and the coconut milk delivers a velvety creaminess that cuts through the heat level. Don’t skip adding cilantro and squeezing some lime before eating it, it adds the freshness needed to take the flavor notes to the next level.  Without it, it’s not the same.  Can be served with noodles or plain jasmine rice.


2 TBSP lemongrass paste

1 onion – chopped

2 TSP ground cumin

2 TBSP garlic/ginger paste

1 TSP shrimp paste

3 TSP fish sauce

¼ TSP cinnamon

1 TSP brown sugar

2 red Thai chilis – seeds removed

Cilantro stems – keep leaves for garnish later

½ cup of Thai basil (if you can’t find Thai you can use regular basil)


1 ½ LBS of beef chuck – fat trimmed and cut into medium sized chunks

2 TBSP cornstarch

½ TSP salt

2 cups of beef stock

1 14 oz can of coconut cream

Juice of 1 lime

1 lime leaf

1 bag of baby spinach



Place all the paste ingredients in to the bowl of a food processor and pulse to make a paste.

Dry and season the beef chunks with salt and pepper and coat them in the cornstarch.  Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven and sear the meat in batches, not overcrowding the pan so they brown evenly. Set aside on a platter.  Add the paste to the pan and stir to toast for 1-2 minutes, scrapping the brown bits at the bottom.  Add the beef chunks back into the pot and coat them with the paste. Add the coconut milk, stock, lime leaf and place in the oven with the lid for about 1½ hours, stirring every once in a while, to ensure the beef doesn’t stick to the bottom as it braises. If it looks dry add a bit of water.

Remove from the oven and add the baby spinach – the heat will wilt the leaves.

Serve with jasmine rice, lime wedges and fresh chopped cilantro.

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Pantry Rat