Saturday, January 14, 2012
Thai Red Curry with Beef and Vegetables
2 Tbsp. oil, divided
1 1/2 pounds sirloin steak, cut into thin strips
1 medium zucchini, cut into logs (see photo)
Eggplant (same amount as zucchini), cut into logs
1 onion, cut into wedges
1 cinnamon stick
3 bay leaves or kaffir lime leaves, if available
2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced (divided)
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
Red Curry Sauce
1/4 c. shallot, chopped
6 cloves garlic, sliced in half
3 Tbsp. lemongrass, finely chopped (use fresh over jarred, if possible)
3 Tbsp. fish sauce (can substitute soy sauce)
2 Tbsp. ketchup
1 Tbsp. ground coriander
1 Tbsp. cumin
2 tsp. cayenne pepper...or if available fresh cayenne chilies, minced
1 Tbsp. brown sugar (heaping)
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 cup (from a 15 oz can) coconut milk (NOT low-fat), save the rest for later
OPT: 2 Tbsp. chili powder (I would leave out as it doesn't add much and gives it a Mexican flavor which I did not like)
Combine all curry sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until completely mixed and smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. It should be spicy, but not "burn your sox off" hot!
Heat half the oil in a large wok over medium high heat until sizzling. Add half the beef and stir fry just until done. Remove from wok and add other half of oil and stir fry the remainder of the beef the same way. Remove from wok and set aside.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and stir fry eggplant for a few minutes, add zucchini and onion and continue to stir fry until veggies are tender-crisp. Add curry sauce, 1 cup fresh tomatoes, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves. If you don't have a cinnamon stick, add 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon. Heat to a gentle boil and then lower heat and simmer covered for about 7-8 minutes. If sauce is too thick, add 1-3 Tbsp. of water or broth.
Take off cover and check for tenderness of vegetables. If necessary, continue to cook veggies until fork tender. Add the other cup of tomatoes and the rest of the coconut milk (about 2/3 cup).
Taste the sauce. If not salty add more fish or soy sauce or salt. If not sweet enough, add more sugar and if you want it spicier, add more red pepper. If too spicy, add a little more coconut milk or plain yogurt.
When veggies are tender, add the beef and give it a good stir, making sure beef is not overcooked, but heated.
Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and serve over Jasmine rice.
Red curry sauce can be used with chicken, shrimp, or pork (or lamb if you like lamb, I don't).