At times, lockdown has sent us all a little crazy. Ann-Marie’s moment of madness came when she decided to order a 25kg bag of potatoes from a farm store to ensure we didn’t run out. Now that’s a serious amount of carbs right there! Undeterred, I began furiously fanning my recipe books for meals with potatoes and came across Beef Massaman Curry from Justine Pattison’s excellent ‘Takeaway Favourites’ book.
The recipe requires 500g of potatoes, not 25kg, but hey it’s a start. But what about the taste? Pretty good actually, although I was unable to get my hands on any kaffir lime leaves so swapped in some lime zest. I also didn’t bother with the chilli peanuts suggestion – in hindsight a mistake as I definitely would have preferred more heat in this.
But with all of the proper ingredients I’ll definitely make this Thai curry again as I’m in no danger of running out of spuds! Speaking of spuds, you don’t need rice or naan in this recipe which despite the lengthy cooking time is a doddle to make as it just does its thing in the oven.
Recipe: Beef Massaman Curry
Calories: 495 calories per serving
Book: Justine Pattison: Without the Calories – takeaway favourites
Prep time: Approx 20 mins
Cooking time: Approx 1 hr 45 mins
Ingredients: 1 tbsp sunflower oil, 2 medium onions (thinly sliced), 800g braising beef (ideally chuck steak), 3 tbsp good quality massaman curry paste or Thai red curry paste, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 star anise, 5 Kaffir lime leaves (fresh, frozen or dried), 400ml can reduced-fat coconut milk, 1 beef stock cube (I use an Oxo cube), 2 tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla), 1 tbsp light soft brown sugar or palm sugar, 2 large potatoes (around 500g) (preferably Maris Piper – peeled and cut into 2cm chunks), chilli peanuts to serve (optional)
Cost per portion: Approx £2.45
Method: Preheat the oven to 170°C/Fan 150°C/Gas 3. Trim the beef of all hard fat and cut roughly into 2.5cm chunks. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan or wok and fry the onions over a medium heat for 2–3 minutes until lightly browned, while stirring. Add the beef and stir-fry together for 2 minutes until the beef is lightly coloured.
Stir in the curry paste, cinnamon stick, star anise and lime leaves and cook for 1 minute, while stirring. Tip into a flameproof casserole. Pour over the coconut milk, crumble the beef stock on top and add the fish sauce and sugar.
Bring to a gentle simmer, then turn off the heat and cover the surface of the curry with baking parchment. This will stop the curry drying out. Pop a lid on top and cook in the oven for 45 minutes.
Take the dish out of the oven and stir in the potatoes. Cover and return to the oven for a further 45 minutes or until the beef and potatoes are tender. Serve sprinkled with chopped chilli peanuts and fresh chilli if you like. (Don’t eat the star anise or the lime leaves).
Roughly chop 20g roasted salted peanuts and finely slice 1 long red chilli. Mix together in a small bowl. Sprinkle over curries, soups and salads. Serves 4. Calories per serving: 31.