I’ve never been to Thailand, but I have loved the complex flavors of Thai food since the first time I tried it. The way herbs, spices and tart citrus combine to make every dish so over-the-top delicious has definitely inspired me to recreate recipes that I’ve enjoyed in restaurants. This Red Curry Beef is one example, but search Thai here at HHR, you will see it is truly one of my favorite cuisines.
It’s been close to two decades since we walked into the original Madame Mam’s Thai on the UT campus in Austin. There was a menu, but upon arrival we could smell the red curry beef simmering away in a crockpot up front near the cash register. (In my mind’s eye, it seems like it was right in the dining room with us, but I may be remembering that wrong.)
Our typical order is the requisite spring rolls and two entrees with either chicken or shrimp We order Pad Thai with one and a curry with the other. Ordering of the special of the day (AKA Red Curry Beef) was a game changer and I eventully figured out the secrets to making it as close as possible to Madame Mam’s version.
What’s in Red Curry Beef?
Red Curry Beef is more of a stew than other curries. It contains beef, hearty vegetables, red curry paste, lime juice, maple or date syrup and coconut milk. If I’m doing a Whole30, I use coconut aminos instead of either of the syrups since they are naturally sweet.
What Cut of Beef Should Be Used?
I typically use either chuck roast if I’m making it ahead (*see below) or for quicker cooking, I will use sirloin or stew meat. When I created this particular recipe, I used stew meat from Greensbury Market. It came out amazing. The stew meat will still be quite tender but may have a little sinew or fat depending on where you get them. If you use sirloin, you can either cook it as one large piece like a roast, or you can cut it into cubes.
*The coconut milk is naturally fatty, so the fat that renders off of chuck can be too much. Plan to make it a day ahead and let it chill completely to remove the fat layer that rises to the top if you do choose to use a chuck roast or other fatty cut. Like any stew, this will only improve the flavor so if you have the time, try it with a chuck roast at least once.
How to Serve
Most stews are served over something as are most curries. You can serve this curry, however, without anything extra since it has lots of veggies. To be traditional, serve it over Jasmine rice. If you are doing Paleo, Keto or Whole30, server over cauliflower rice.
How to Make Red Curry Beef in Instant Pot
You can absolutely make this in a slow cooker, in the oven or on your stovetop. I just found that using the Instant Pot speeds up the process and I can use frozen beef if I forget to thaw it, so that’s how I wrote the recipe.
Add beef, broth, onion, green onion, red curry paste, ginger and garlic to bowl of Instant Pot
Set Instant Pot to Meat/Poultry setting for 15 minutes per pound (20 minutes if frozen). When the timer goes off, let it release naturally.
Add coconut milk, lime juice, coconut aminos and Magic Salt and stir to combine.
Add broccoli, carrots, red peppers and green beans. Cover and set Instant Pot to Manual and 2 minutes. Do a quick release and check doneness on the veggies. They should be tender and cooked through.
Serve with Jasmine rice or cauliflower rice. Garnish with green onions.
Other Ways to Cook Besides Instant Pot
- To make this in a slow cooker, use completely thawed beef and add everything except sauce ingredients and vegetables to the slow cooker. Set it to high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours. Add the sauce ingredients and vegetables during the last hour. Stir to incorporate everything. Serve over rice and garnish with green onions.
- For oven, add everything except sauce ingredients and vegetables to an enameled baking dish or other heavy covered dish. Bake at 350 for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the beef is completely tender. Add sauce ingredients and vegetables. Bake for an additional 30 minutes or until they are tender. Stir to incorporate everything. Serve over rice and garnish with green onions.
- For stovetop, add everything except sauce ingredients and vegetables to an enameled baking dish or heavy soup pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer over medium low for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the beef is completely tender. Add sauce ingredients and vegetables. Simmer for an additional 20-30 minutes or until veggies are tender. Stir to incorporate everything. Serve over rice and garnish with green onions.
Easy Instant Pot Thai Inspired Red Curry Beef
2 lb stew meat cubes
1/2 chopped onion (red or yellow)
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
1 cup beef broth
1 tbsp red curry paste
- Remaining Sauce Ingredients
1 can full fat coconut milk
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 cup coconut aminos (1/3 cup if on Whole30)
1 tbsp maple or date syrup (omit for Whole30)
1 tsp Magic Salt
1 cup sliced red bell pepper
1 cup julienned carrot strips
1 1/2 cups frozen broccoli
1 1/2 cups frozen green beans
- To Serve
Jasmine or Cauliflower Rice for serving
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
- Combine beef, chopped onion, ginger, garlic, broth and red curry paste in the bowl of Instant Pot.
- Set the Instant Pot to Meat/Poultry setting and 15 minutes (25 if frozen).
- When the timer goes off, let it release naturally.
- Stir in coconut milk, lime juice, coconut aminos and magic salt.
- Add all remaining vegetables except green onion. Do not stir in.
- Place lid back on Instant Pot and press Manual button. Set for 2 minutes.
- When timer goes off, do quick release.
- Stir in vegetables and taste sauce. If it needs more sweetness add a little more coconut aminos or maple syrup.
- Serve over rice. Garnish with green onions.
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