150 gmcoconut oil1 kgboneless Angus beef short rib, cut into 4cm pieces500 ml(2 cups) chicken stock, brought to the simmer300 mlcoconut cream, brought to the simmer50 mlfish sauce, or to taste1 tbspshaved light palm sugar, or to taste1 tbspwild ginger (see note)3kaffir lime leaves, torn1long red chilli, seeds removed, thinly sliced1 stalkfresh green peppercorns½ cup each(firmly packed) holy basil and Thai basil leavesTo serve:steamed jasmine rice, and kaffir lime leaf and long red chilli, each cut into julienneRed curry paste1Spanish onion, coarsely chopped5garlic cloves, coarsely chopped4coriander roots, scraped and cleaned20 gm(4cm piece) galangal, thinly sliced50 gmsmoked trout, coarsely flaked10long dried red chillies, seeds removed, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes, drained1lemongrass stalk, white part only, thinly sliced1 tspdried shrimp, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes, drained1 tbsproasted shrimp paste1 tbspwhite peppercorns, coarsely groundCucumber relish200 mlrice vinegar150 gmcaster sugar2coriander roots, scraped and cleaned1pickled garlic head (see note)1Lebanese cucumber, diced23 gm(5cm) piece of ginger, cut into julienne1red shallot, thinly sliced½long red chilli, seeds removed, cut into julienne½ cup(loosely packed) coriander leaves
For red curry paste, pound onion, garlic, coriander roots and galangal in a large mortar and pestle to a coarse paste, then transfer to a food processor. Pound remaining ingredients (except peppercorns) with 1 tbsp sea salt to a coarse paste, then add to processor and process to a smooth paste, stir through pepper. Makes 250ml.
For cucumber relish, combine vinegar, sugar, coriander root and garlic in a small saucepan, bring to the boil, remove from heat, strain and cool to room temperature. Combine cucumber, ginger, shallot, chilli and coriander leaves in a bowl, add vinegar mixture and set aside. Makes about 300ml.
Melt coconut oil in a large saucepan over low-medium heat, add curry paste and 1 tsp sea salt, stir until fragrant and roasted (10-15 minutes). Add beef, cook until sealed (2-3 minutes). Add stock and coconut cream, cook until fragrant (2-3 minutes). Season to taste with fish sauce and palm sugar, cook over low heat until meat is tender (2½-3 hours), adding more stock if necessary. Add wild ginger, lime leaves, chilli and peppercorns and season to taste – it should be hot, salty and sweet. Add basil, simmer for 5 minutes, then serve scattered with kaffir lime and chilli, with steamed rice and cucumber relish to the side.
Note Wild ginger is known as krachai in Thai and is available
in jars. Pickled garlic is also available in jars from Asian
This recipe is from the November 2009 issue of Australian Gourmet