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Aged beef cheeks braised in coconut cream, lemongrass & galangal
Aged beef cheeks braised in coconut cream, lemongrass & galangal
Thai
Main
Over 2 hours
Beef
Medium
Serves
2

In Thailand and at Farang this beef is dropped into an aromatic curry known as ‘gaeng gari’, which translates as ‘curry curry’, so doesn’t really do it justice as a description really. However it’s a banger of a curry if you want to give it a go and the paste recipe is in my book, ‘Cook Thai’.

This version is a bit more user friendly and once you have all the ingredients you can pretty much just bosh it in a pot and you’re off. A one pot wonder, using less than 25 ingredients in the world of Thai cuisine is a rarity and this is certainly a very unique one to try.

In the restaurant we love to top this dish with such condiments as pickled cucumber, pickled ginger, crispy shallots and pickled mustard greens.

Recipe courtesy of
Articuleat
Ingredients
  • 400g, beef cheeks, beef shin is more widely available and is also bloody tasty when used in this dish
  • 2 sticks lemongrass, bruised / smashed in a pestle and mortar to release its flavour
  • 2 pieces galangal (roughly 40- 50g), sliced in half, smashed in a pestle and mortar to release its flavour
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, torn a little at the edges to help release flavour
  • 4 long red chillies, bruised / smashed in a pestle and mortar
  • 20g, Thai shallots, peeled and whole (any small, sweet shallot will do if you can’t find the Thai variety)
  • 20g, peeled ginger, fine julienne, if your chopping skills are lacking peel some thin slices with a peeler and chop to look as much like matchsticks as possible. If they look like carrot sticks, try to slice them in half again.
  • 1.5 litres coconut cream, enough to submerge the beef, add a little water or vegetable stock if you’re short but its tastier and richer to just use coconut cream.
  • 20-25ml fish sauce, perhaps more after cooking to season to your own taste
  • 60g palm sugar, soft brown sugar can be used instead
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of tamarind paste, this can be found in blocks in most supermarkets which then needs to be soaked in warm water and strained to separate the tamarind water from the seeds and pulp, otherwise pre-made tamarind can be purchased easily
  • 10g Thai sweet basil
  • 50ml, good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • 10g coriander, picked and washed
Method
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Method
  1. Begin by coating the beef in the olive oil and the coarse sea salt and mix well with your hands ensuring that all the meat gets a good coating of oil and salt.
  2. Next heat a large non-stick frying pan on the hob on a high heat then place the oiled and seasoned beef into the pan and seal the meat on one side for two minutes. Once sealed and turning golden brown in colour, flip the beef to begin cooking the other side and throw in the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, long red chillies, Thai shallots and two thirds of the julienne ginger and turn the heat to a medium, continue roasting the aromats and the beef for a further 3-4 minutes to let all of the flavours get to know each other.
  3. In the meantime, heat a large oven proof tray in the middle shelf of an oven preheated to 200 degrees centigrade. Next add the beef, all the aromats and fat from the beef frying pan, the coconut cream, tamarind, fish sauce and the sugar, make sure to top up with more cream or beef stock to ensure the beef is fully submerged in liquid then tightly wrap the tray in tin foil to protect the contents from direct heat of the oven. Place this back in the oven and cook for 3.5-4 hours. Once the time has passed take the beef out and check that it is cooked correctly, you should be able to break up the piece of meat with a spoon as it is so tender, if it is not this tender then put it back in until it is, check every 20 minutes or so. The trick to this dish is low and slow, let the heat of the oven do all the work and all you need to do is assemble all the ingredients into one tray.
  4. Once the beef is ready to come out taste the coconut broth to ensure that you are happy with the seasoning. It should be delicately sweet from the coconut cream and moreish from the umami, saltiness of the fish sauce, add a little more of either if you think necessary.
  5. Once ready serve the stew in bowls topped with more julienne ginger, sprigs of Thai basil and fresh coriander leaves, this is great served with steamed jasmine rice.

The Pass was created to help the many people now struggling to feed themselves and their families as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. If you like or use this recipe, please consider making a small donation to Hospitality Action to help those whose livelihoods have all but disappeared.

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