Beef Panang Curry Recipe

Richer and thicker than a classic Thai red curry, panang curry has a creamy, nutty flavour. This beef version is the perfect fakeaway to enjoy in front of the telly.
Serves 4 - 15 mins to prepare and 10 mins to cook - 545 calories / serving



Ingredients

For the panang paste

1 shallot, chopped
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 red chilli, halved and deseeded
2 sticks lemongrass, trimmed and roughly chopped
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 whole star anise
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 green cardamom pods, crushed to release inner black seeds only
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
4 dry kaffir lime leaves
1 lime, juice only

For the curry

100g (3 1/2oz) unsalted (shelled) peanuts
1 tbsp groundnut oil
400ml (13fl oz) tin coconut milk
4 dried kaffir lime leaves
2 tbsp palm sugar or light muscovado sugar
2-3 tbsp fish sauce, to taste
500g (1lb) sirloin steak, trimmed of obvious fat and finely sliced
1 lime, juice only
handful basil leaves (preferably Thai basil, but standard is fine)
1 red chilli, finely sliced
steamed rice, to serve


To make the panang paste, pound all the ingredients together in a large pestle and mortar for at least 5 minutes to form a paste. Alternatively, use the small bowl of a food processor and pulse-chop until a relatively smooth paste forms, stopping regularly to scrape down the bowl.

To make the curry, put the peanuts in a dry frying pan and toast over a low heat for a few minutes, shaking the pan often, until golden and fragrant. Let them cool then roughly chop, or crush in a pestle and mortar.
Put the oil in a wok or large, deep-sided frying pan and set on a low-medium heat. Add the panang paste and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes until fragrant and sizzling. Add the coconut milk and lime leaves and increase the heat. Bubble down for 2-3 minutes until slightly thickened. Stir in the sugar and 2 tbsp fish sauce and continue to simmer for 5 minutes to reduce the sauce.
Add the steak and cook for 2-3 minutes more until it no longer looks pink and raw. Add the lime juice, then taste the curry and add a further tbsp of fish sauce if it needs more salt. Remove from the heat and scatter with the peanuts, basil leaves and sliced chilli. Serve hot with steamed rice.
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