Slow Cooker Gem: Curried Beef Stew
I am one of those people who will make a stellar dish and still find something wrong with it. My hubby often unfairly accuses me of “fishing for compliments”. Truth is, I happen to be truly critical of my dishes and am seldom 100% satisfied with the final product. Friends and family will be praising my cooking creations and I will be standing there commenting on the three things that are wrong with it. It can be annoying, especially if you live with it constantly, like the hubby does, but I think it means I am always trying to better my cooking. For the record, I am not this critical of other people’s cooking – just my own – lest, the dinner party invitations dry up. In fact, when it comes to other people’s cooking, I am the “easy critic” and my husband the annoying/difficult-to-please one.
This Thai curry is so beautiful (tough to take a bad photo of it), so yummy and so much the food we adore, that even I could find nothing lacking with it. I made an excessive amount of it some time ago for a dinner party, in hopes that I could take leftovers to a friend recovering from an accident. My friend never got any – much to my disappointment. It was all devoured. No leftovers of a dinner party dish is unheard of when I am entertaining. I am a “true-blue Indian Aunty” who makes way too much food when people are coming over.
The recipe is from Cooking Light, but I modify it by using pieces of stewing beef which we prefer over short ribs. I also use about a can of regular coconut milk vs. the 1/3 “light” can suggested in the recipe because I am not counting my calories and we love the extra gravy. I do also add some extra cumin, coriander, turmeric and chilli powder, which aren’t quite necessary, but just additions I throw on to make the dish my own. In our minds, this is true comfort food. Something you make on a cold, rainy night. Something you send to a friend recovering from an unexpected turn in the road. It’s a bit spicy for the “untrained” little ones, but ours gobbles it up with some rice and yoghurt.
Curried Beef Short Ribs – from Cooking Light
Finishing this dish with lime zest and juice brightens its rich flavors (it’s a genius step)
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 2 pounds beef short ribs, trimmed
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 1/3 cup minced shallots (I used about a cup)
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- 1/4 cup light coconut milk (I used a whole can of regular coconut milk)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon grated lime rind
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 4 cups hot cooked basmati rice
- Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle ribs with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add half of ribs to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Place ribs in an electric slow cooker. Repeat procedure with remaining ribs.
- Add shallots, garlic, and ginger to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup water and curry paste; cook 1 minute. Stir in coconut milk, sugar, and fish sauce. Add coconut milk mixture to cooker. Cover and cook on LOW 6 hours.
- Remove ribs from cooker; keep warm. Strain cooking liquid through a colander over a bowl; discard solids. Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour cooking liquid into bag; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into a small bowl, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat. (this step will likely not be necessary if you use beef stew chunks as it is a less fatty cut)
- Stir in remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper, rind, and juice. Shred rib meat with 2 forks; discard bones. Serve sauce over ribs and rice