I got really excited at Pak n Save the other day. Every time I see a beef roast on the cheap I buy it without really thinking. I always slow cook my beef roasts so this one has been sitting in my freezer for a few weeks now while I thought of ways to make it slightly more interesting than my typical stew.
After mastering Vietnamese pho a few weeks back I decided to try my hand at my second favourite dish from my adventures in South East Asia last year. Massaman curry was that such dish. Its lovely mild flavours and vibrant yellow texture made it an excellent comfort food and definitely one worth making.
Most people make their curries by using chopped up stewing beef but I thought hey, why can’t a cook a whole bolar roast in the sauce and end up with a pulled beef style curry? Well clearly nothing was stopping me so I gave it a hoon. It worked wonderfully. The flavours in the sauce were definitely a lot more intense than usual because of the epic cooking time but well worth it. It is traditionally made with potatoes but I didn’t have any and by using kumara it makes it even more a Kiwi fusion dish which is oh so trendy at the moment.
Also forgive this bastardisation of a national Thai treasure, this really isn’t very authentic but it is easy and at 11pm last night when I put this on, easy was all I really cared about.
Massaman Roast Beef
1kg bolar roast beef (or stewing steak would work)
Splash of oil
2 tablespoons Thai yellow curry paste
2 cinnamon quills
3 whole star anise
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1cm ginger, sliced
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 400g tin coconut cream
2 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons of good peanut butter
Juice of 2 limes
3 small kumara, diced
3 large carrots, sliced into rounds
½ cup salted peanuts
Fresh coriander to serve
Rice and roti to serve
Trim any excess fat off your beef then place it in the slow cooker. In a frying pan, heat up the oil and toast the curry paste with the cinnamon, star anise, coriander seeds and ginger slices until fragrant., about three minutes. Add in about half a can of the coconut cream and dissolve the curry paste into it. Pour the contents of the pan over the beef and add the remaining coconut cream, fish sauce, peanut butter, lime juice and vegetable stock. Pop the lid on the top of the cooker and cook for 8 hours on high. After this time add in the vegetables and cook for another 3-4 hours until the beef starts to fall apart and the vegetables are tender.
Using two forks, pull the beef apart and stir the shreds through the sauce to disperse amongst the vegetables. Serve a top roti and rice and garnish with fresh coriander and chopped peanuts. Another fresh squeeze of lime wouldn’t go a miss either.