Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Beef Panang Curry

I know, I know, I already posted a beef panang curry recipe (here). I wouldn't have posted this meal except that I tried something a little bit novel, at least for me, and it turned out spectacularly.

Here's how it went down: I took a pack of beef stew meat out of my freezer on Sunday so that I could make chili on Monday. Monday, I got home from work and headed directly to the store to get the ingredients I needed for the chili. I was planning on making my regular chili recipe, a recipe I basically know by heart. I got home from the store and realized I forgot two key ingredients: onion and beer. 

Loyal readers, you know I have a busy life. When I get home from work, I am tired. Going to the store once is an ordeal, and twice is impossible. I was left with two options: make something different with the stew meat or make chili another night, but I have plans for Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and am likely leaving for Chicago on Friday evening. I don't want to make chili on Wednesday if that's the only night I'm home to eat it. So I had to figure out something else to make.

Whenever I don't know what to make with a certain ingredient I google "[whatever ingredient] martha stewart recipe" and on the rare chance I don't quickly find something that looks good, I will google "[whatever ingredient] recipe".  Martha failed me this time, but one of the first recipes I found with "beef stew meat recipe" was for beef panang.  Beef panang with stew meat?!? you say? I KNOW. But check this out:

~1 pound beef stew meat, trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
~2 Tbsp panang curry paste
1 can coconut milk
~1 Tbsp fish sauce
~1 Tbsp shaved palm sugar (or brown sugar)
1 green bell pepper, cut into chunks
Some basil leaves

1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the beef, reduce heat so that the water is simmering, and cook the beef for about an hour and a half, until the meat is tender.  Drain the meat*, and put aside.

2. Heat the vegetable oil in whatever you're going to make the curry in. I used the gorgeous All-Clad saute pan my parents got me for my birthday.  Thanks Mom and Dad!

3. Add the curry paste, and cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant, then add the coconut milk and stir to combine.

4. Add the meat and bell pepper. Add the fish sauce and palm sugar. I don't measure either of these ingredients, so the quantities listed above might not be correct.  I'd say start with less, and add to your taste.

5. Simmer until the bell peppers are at your desired tenderness.  Add the basil leaves.

6. Serve over rice.

* The broth that is left after boiling the meat is delicious. I was effing starving while cooking this meal, so on a whim I spooned some of my already cooked rice into a bowl and poured the broth over it for a snack while the curry finished cooking. It was a fantastic snack. I saved the rest of the broth so I can pull that move again.

So, ya, boiling the meat first makes it super tender, and it soaks up all the delicious curry flavor. Very delicious.

Bon appetit.

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