I am proud to say that 95% of the time I cook from scratch. The other 5% I cheat just a teeny-weeny bit.
More than 10 years ago I was introduced to Thai food when a Wang Thai restaurant opened in Brooklyn, Pretoria. (It doesn’t exist anymore but has other branches.) It opened my eyes and tongue to a whole new range of flavours and for me the biggest selling points of this cuisine is its use of peanuts and coconut. Since then I’ve been smitten and would gladly visit a Thai restaurant any time.
Now where do I cheat? Uhm…err…ooh, okay, I’ll just spit it out. I use shop bought curry paste instead of making my own which I’m sure will be much better. The problem is if you make a big batch of curry paste you would need to consume it all relatively quickly (which means you’ll get sick of curry) or it will go to waste. So to be ever sensible I pick the easier option of simply buying a small jar at the store. (Barts Red Thai Curry Paste is available in the UK and South Africa.)
What makes this curry a bit different from the standard red and green curries is the addition of ground peanuts which makes the sauce thicker and richer in taste at the same time. Definitely different and well worth the effort!
Download and/or print the recipe! Click HERE.
Thai Red Beef Curry in Sweet Peanut Sauce
Preparation: 15 minutes – Cooking Time: 30-40 mins
- 600ml (1 pint/2 ½ cups) coconut milk
- 45ml (3 tbsp) red curry paste
- 45ml (3 tbsp) Thai fish sauce
- 30ml (2 tbsp) palm sugar or soft light brown sugar
- 2 lemon grass stalks, bruised
- 450g (1 lb) rump steak cut into thin strips
- 75g (3 oz) roasted ground peanuts
- 2 fresh red chillies, sliced
- 2 kaffir lime leaves, torn
- salt and ground pepper
- fresh coriander leaves, to garnish
- Put half the coconut milk into a wok or large pan. Heat the milk gently, stirring constantly, until it begins to boil and separate.
- Add the red curry paste and cook over a medium heat until fragrant. Add the fish sauce, sugar and lemon grass.
- Continue to cook until the colour of the curry sauce deepens.
- Add the remaining coconut milk and bring back to the boil. Add the beef and ground peanuts. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the sliced chillies and torn kaffir lime leaves and adjust the seasoning. Garnish with coriander and serve immediately.
Serve with steamed or boiled white rice.
- You can grind the peanuts in a coffee grinder or use a pestle and mortar.
- For a quick alternative, you could use peanut butter, but you will need to reduce the quantity of salt.