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 Ribsfrom 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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)
  4. 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