Thai cuisine is one of my faves so when I can have it in quick fashion, I’m a happy camper. This Spicy Thai Beef Curry from the Fine Cooking’s Make It Tonight series was just the ticket for a weeknight dinner when I didn’t have a lot of time but craved a flavorful curry dish. Remember, our bodies are not just heavy machines that we tote around with us each day, and our culinary pleasure isn’t just a whim when it comes to the mechanics of eating—curry can be a joy to both eat and behold.
The “spicy” title is a bit of a misnomer. Even though it calls for 1 to 2 teaspoons of red curry paste, almost all of the reviewers commented that they had, or wished they’d had, added more than the directions called for. So, being a connoisseur of all things with a kick, I added a healthy tablespoon full of the flavorful paste, resulting in a robust pungency that was not at all overpowering. If you possess a “delicate palette,” you may want to stick with the smaller amount first time out of the gate.
The directions do not instruct you to, but for a thicker sauce that will cling nicely to the meat and rice, after you remove the meat in Step 5, reduce the liquid over medium-high heat for about 6-8 minutes to thicken, then proceed with the remaining steps.
My only other suggestions would be to use fresh sugar snap peas if you can find them; and incorporate some sweet red bell pepper strips for added color and nutrition, but that’s totally up to you.
Spicy Thai Beef Curry
- 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
- 1-1/2 lb. beef sirloin tips
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots (about 2 medium-large)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1 to 2 tsp. Thai red curry paste
- 1/2 cup low-salt canned chicken broth
- 1 13-1/2-oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 Tbs. fish sauce
- 1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen sugar snap peas
- 1 large lime, zest finely grated and fruit cut into wedges
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Heat the oil in a 10-inch straight-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat. Season the sirloin tips with salt and pepper and sear the meat in batches until nicely browned on two sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add the shallots to the pan and cook until just tender and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minute. Add the ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, about 30 seconds. Stir in 1/4 cup of the broth, scraping up any bits that are stuck to the pan.
- Add 1/3 cup of the coconut milk, stirring until the curry paste has blended in completely. Stir in the remaining coconut milk and broth. Add the fish sauce.
- Increase the heat to medium high. Return the beef to the pan (along with any juices), stir, and simmer until the meat is just cooked through, 8 to 12 minute. Remove the meat and transfer to a cutting board. (Here’s where you should reduce the liquid for a thicker sauce.)
- Take the pan off the heat. Stir the sugar snap peas into the sauce and cover the pan. Let the meat rest for 1 minute, then slice it thinly across the grain; return it to the pan along with the lime zest. If necessary, return the pan to medium heat until the peas are thawed and heated through.
- Portion the curry into four warm bowls or deep dishes, sprinkle with the cilantro, and serve with the lime wedges.
By Joann Smart from Fine Cooking