Beef and potato massaman style curry

I have been sent an Instant Pot, which is basically a new generation electronic pressure cooker. What you see above these words is my first attempt with it, and I am really impressed (with myself, and with the gadget – ha ha!). Now, I remember my mum using one of these (well, an old style one) all the time when we were kids. Making stews and, erm… mainly stews (no offence mum, they were very nice) in them. The point is that she was making something that would normally requires hours of slow cooking in, like, less than half an hour. That’s still the main idea of this new, improved pressure cooker – it makes ‘slow cook’ food, very fast! But now it does other great stuff too: normal slow cooking, steaming, it’s a rice cooker… check out the website for more blurb…
My kitchen where we live right now (in a rented house whilst we start renovations on a farmhouse – more on the slow progress of that later), well let’s say workspace is limited, so I can’t waste an inch. Having made this yummy curry in just over half an hour in it today though, I think it will more than earn its space amongst the toaster and kettle! What I like most is that you can do the whole shebang in it, soften/saute/seal as well as slow cook, which really appeals as you only have to wash the one pot. I love slow cooked food like stews, curries, ribs, puddings… but sometimes I want it on the table in less than 2 hours. Apparently it does a risotto in, like, 6 minutes. Yeah, this is going to come in very handy, I can tell already…

So this is a ‘massaman style‘ curry, as it probably isn’t that authentic (you know me, I don’t get bogged down with that stuff, if it tastes good and didn’t bring me out in hives making it, then it’s all good as far as I’m concerned). I looked up a few recipes and did my own Anglicised thing.

I know this list of ingredients is long, but it’s a very easy dish to make. Just whizz the ‘paste’ stuff up, then chuck in the pan with meat and coconut milk/stock and potatoes. It’s a great entertaining dish as it’s 100% homemade (people will be very impressed that you didn’t use a paste) and actually very easy (don’t tell anyone that though!).

I have written two sets of instructions, one for Instant Pot (so you can see how easy it is) and one with a normal pan. Feel free to ask questions in the comments below about the IP!

Serves: 4 adults
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes (with an Instant Pot) / 2 hours without
Total time: 40 minutes (with an Instant Pot) / 2 hours 10 minutes without

Ingredients: 
1lb of braising steak, cut into small bite size pieces
About 3/4 potatoes, peeled and cut into similar size pieces
1 more tablespoon of coconut oil, for frying (use vegetable oil if you don’t have this)
1 can of coconut milk
400ml of light chicken or beef stock (I fill the coconut milk can up with hot stock)

To make the paste: 
1 onion, diced
6 cloves garlic
1 stalk of lemongrass
2 thumbs’ worth of ginger root
Handful of coriander stalks
Large handful of peanuts (ideally blanched and not salted)
1/2 a red chilli to be child friendly (if not making for kids, up the heat as much as you like)
1 teaspoon of coriander seed
1 teaspoon of cumin seed
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (just use fresh pods, about 2, smashed a bit first, if you can’t get this)
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon of coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar

For perfect rice: 
200g rice (I used basmati)
365ml cold water

Instructions – Instant Pot: 

  1. To make the ‘paste’, dice the onion, chop the lemongrass up, as well as the ginger, and place them, along with everything else, into a small processor. (If you only have a big processor then do a double batch of paste in that and freeze half, or make a large batch of the curry and freeze the completed dish.)
  2. Set the Instant Pot to ‘Sauté’ and, once ‘Hot’, add about a tablespoon of coconut oil (or vegetable oil), let it heat up, and add the beef. Seal the meat for a couple of minutes, stirring.  
  3. Now, add the paste and let it cook out for a while, a few minutes. 
  4. Add the stock and coconut milk, potatoes too, and heat through. Cancel the ‘Sauté’ setting. 
  5. Set it onto ‘Manual’ for 30 minutes. That’s it! 
  6. Serve with jasmine or basmati rice, some extra lime to squeeze, and fresh coriander. 
  7. To make the rice: add cold water to well-rinsed rice, cover pan and bring to boil. Simmer for 7 minutes. Fluff!

Instructions – normal:

  1. To make the ‘paste’, dice the onion, chop the lemongrass up, as well as the ginger, and place them, along with everything else, into a small processor. (If you only have a big processor then do a double batch of paste in that and freeze half, or make a large batch of the curry and freeze the completed dish.)
  2. Heat about a tablespoon of coconut oil (or vegetable oil) in a large casserole pot or similar, and add the beef. Seal the meat. 
  3. Now, add the paste and let it cook out for a while, about 4 minutes. 
  4. Add the stock and coconut milk, potatoes too. 
  5. Bring to boil and simmer for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, until the beef is falling apart and the potatoes are very soft. 
  6. Serve with jasmine or basmati rice, some extra lime to squeeze, and fresh coriander. 
  7. To make the rice: add cold water to well-rinsed rice, cover pan and bring to boil. Simmer for 7 minutes. Fluff!
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2 Comments

  1. Gillian
    October 28, 2016 / 6:39 pm

    Possible to substitute chicken on the bone for the beef? I have a whole chicken and am looking to make the same recipe with it.

    • Rachel Brady
      October 29, 2016 / 2:39 pm

      Hi Gillian, yes but I would cook it for less time though. So I would joint the chicken and use the thighs and drumsticks is you want it to be on the bone. Cook for 15 minutes on high pressure. I would cut up potatoes into smaller pieces as they will be cooking for half the time. Rachel X

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