AT A GLANCE
This makes a big batch, so if you don't have an extra-large saucepan, halve the recipe. It keeps well refrigerated for several days and also freezes well.
|01||For curry paste, drain and chop chillies, and set aside. Dry-roast spices until fragrant (30-40 seconds), cool briefly, then pound to a powder with a large mortar and pestle. Add remaining ingredients in batches and pound to a coarse paste, then combine batches and pound until smooth (you can also do this in a small food processor, adding 2 tbsp water to help process to a smooth paste).|
|02||Dry-roast bay leaves and cassia bark in a small frying pan until fragrant (20-30 seconds). Set aside.|
|03||Heat oil in an extra-large saucepan over medium-high heat, add beef in batches and brown all over (1-2 minutes each side). Transfer to a plate, rinse pan out, then return to medium-high heat, add half the coconut cream and cook, stirring occasionally, until it cracks and the fat separates (4-5 minutes). Add curry paste, bay leaves and cassia bark, and stir-fry until fragrant and curry paste is toasted (1-2 minutes; this may take longer if water has been added to make the paste). Add coconut milk, remaining coconut cream and 250ml water and bring to a simmer. Return beef to pan, reduce heat to low-medium and simmer uncovered until beef is tender and sauce reduces to just cover beef (3½-4 hours; if sauce reduces too much, add a little more water half a cup at a time to keep beef just covered without diluting the sauce too much). Add potato and simmer until beef is very tender and potatoes are soft (20-30 minutes). Season curry to taste with palm sugar, fish sauce and tamarind in the last few minutes of cooking for a balance of salty, sweet and sour.|
|04||Meanwhile, for fried shallots, heat oil in a wok over medium heat to 180C or until it shimmers. Add shallots and fry, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp (1-2 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.|
|05||Scatter curry with coriander, julienned ginger and fried shallots, and serve with steamed jasmine rice.|
Note Boneless beef shin needs to be ordered from your butcher, or substitute osso buco, increasing the quantity to account for the bones. Use coconut cream without thickeners or it won't crack - that is, the fat won't separate. Tamarind extract is best made fresh. To make 80ml extract, combine 1 tbsp tamarind pulp with 100ml hot water, and stand until pulp softens. Break up the pulp in the water with the back of a spoon and strain through a coarse sieve.
RICH, BLACK CHOCOLATE STOUT. , suggested by MAX ALLEN