Chef's Recipes

Martin Boetz: Red curry of beef with green peppercorns, wild ginger and holy basil

Australian Gourmet Traveller Thai recipe for red curry of beef with green peppercorns, wild ginger and holy basil by Martin Boetz from Longrain restaurant.

By Martin Boetz
  • Serves 6
  • 45 mins preparation
  • 3 hrs 30 mins cooking plus cooling
Martin Boetz: Red curry of beef with green peppercorns, wild ginger and holy basil
Martin Boetz: Red curry of beef with green peppercorns, wild ginger and holy basil

“The curry paste can be made ahead and keeps for 4 to 6 days in the refrigerator. It also freezes well.”

Ingredients

  • 150 gm coconut oil
  • 1 kg boneless Angus beef short rib, cut into 4cm pieces
  • 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock, brought to the simmer
  • 300 ml coconut cream, brought to the simmer
  • 50 ml fish sauce, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp shaved light palm sugar, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp wild ginger (see note)
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, torn
  • 1 long red chilli, seeds removed, thinly sliced
  • 1 stalk fresh green peppercorns
  • ½ cup each (firmly packed) holy basil and Thai basil leaves
  • To serve: steamed jasmine rice, and kaffir lime leaf and long red chilli, each cut into julienne
Red curry paste
  • 1 Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 4 coriander roots, scraped and cleaned
  • 20 gm (4cm piece) galangal, thinly sliced
  • 50 gm smoked trout, coarsely flaked
  • 10 long dried red chillies, seeds removed, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes, drained
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp dried shrimp, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes, drained
  • 1 tbsp roasted shrimp paste
  • 1 tbsp white peppercorns, coarsely ground
Cucumber relish
  • 200 ml rice vinegar
  • 150 gm caster sugar
  • 2 coriander roots, scraped and cleaned
  • 1 pickled garlic head (see note)
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, diced
  • 23 gm (5cm) piece of ginger, cut into julienne
  • 1 red shallot, thinly sliced
  • ½ long red chilli, seeds removed, cut into julienne
  • ½ cup (loosely packed) coriander leaves

Method

Main
  • 1
    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.
  • 2
    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.
  • 3
    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.

Notes

Note Wild ginger is known as krachai in Thai and is available in jars. Pickled garlic is also available in jars from Asian grocers. This recipe is from the November 2009 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
Drink Suggestion: 2006 Curly Flat Pinot Noir from Victoria. Drink suggestion by Sam Christie

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  • Author: Martin Boetz