For someone raised on a farm in Missouri making curry in my own kitchen still doesn’t feel natural or instinctive, but I’m learning to trust it.
Massaman was the flavor profile I was eager to replicate at home. While doing research I struggled to find a consensus on massaman, including brand of spice paste, and I was reluctant to scour specialty markets for obscure ingredients. After all, I wanted a recipe I could share—something anyone could put together from their local grocery store.
I call this massaman style because it closely resembles massaman, but includes adjustments for convenience. As much as I think you’ll like this recipe just as it is, don’t be shy about customizing the spice as you see fit—spicier, sweeter, earthier. The mix of vegetables is only limited by your imagination, or whatever might be in your crisper. I suggest keeping the amount of vegetable add-ins to around five cups in total so there will be plenty of sauce to cover everything.
In this spice mix, the clove and cinnamon are a little more forward, yet still well grounded with cumin and coriander. Chuck tender roast, also known as beef chuck mock tender roast, is an ideal cut for this low and slow method with its deep, beefy flavor and meltingly tender finish. If you cannot find a chuck tender roast, regular boneless chuck roast works as well—just cut away excess fat from the meat to create lean, bite-sized pieces. Serve with cilantro rice to soak up every last drop of curried sauce and enjoy!
Massaman Style Beef Curry
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 1/2 pounds chuck tender roast (a.k.a. mock tender roast) cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar
- 1 medium onion , chopped
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger , minced
- 1 cup beef stock
- 14 oucnes coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 whole kaffir lime leaves , optional
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 cups (in total) fresh green chilies, sweet potato, red potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, peas, parsnips, celery, grape tomatoes, etc. (any combination), cut into manageable, bite-size pieces
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Cut meat into 2-inch pieces and lay out on a paper towel lined baking sheet to blot any excess moisture; season with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat and brown pieces of beef on all sides. Brown in batches to avoid crowding the pan. While the beef is browning, mix the dry spices and sugar together in a small bowl.
- Once the meat is browned, transfer to a slow cooker. Cook onion in the same skillet over medium heat until edges begin to brown, adding oil if necessary. Add garlic and ginger to the onion and continue to cook 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Sprinkle spice mix over onion and stir for about 2 minutes, until the aroma from the spices is noticeable.
- Add beef stock to the skillet and stir, loosening any browned bits from the pan. Once the mixture is hot, carefully transfer to the crock pot with the beef. Add coconut milk, fish sauce, lime leaves, and bay leaf, and stir to combine. Cook on high for about 2 1/2 hours.
- Stir-in prepared vegetables and cook for another hour or until beef is fork tender. Salt and pepper as desired.