Aromatic Beef Braised in Coconut Cream & Ginger

Recipe taken from Cook Thai by Sebby Holmes, published by Kyle Books (£19.99) Photography by Tom Regester

The trick to this dish is cooking it low and slow; let the heat of the oven do all the work

  • 400g beef shin, excess fat removed and chopped into 3cm chunks
  • 50ml good-quality olive oil
  • 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • 2 sticks lemongrass, bruised
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, torn
  • 2 long red chillies, bruised
  • 15g Thai shallots, peeled and left whole (or any small, sweet shallot)
  • 20g ginger, peeled and fine julienned
  • 600–700ml coconut cream (enough to submerge the beef)
  • 1 heaped tbsp of tamarind paste
  • 20–25ml fish sauce
  • 1 heaped tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 10g coriander leaves, torn, to garnish
  • 10g Thai sweet basil (or Italian basil), torn, to garnish steamed jasmine rice, to serve
  • Massage the olive oil and salt into the beef with your hands to ensure all the meat gets a good coating. Preheat the oven to 140°C/Fan 120°C/Gas 1. In a large ovenproof tray, add the beef, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, long red chillies, Thai shallots, two-thirds of the ginger, the coconut cream, tamarind paste, fish sauce and sugar. Check all the ingredients are completely submerged in the coconut cream, then tightly wrap the tray in foil to protect the contents from the direct heat of the oven. Place the tray on the middle shelf of the oven and cook for 5–6 hours.
  • Check the beef is cooked properly – you should be able to break up the pieces of meat with a spoon it is so tender. When you are satisfied the beef is ready, taste the coconut broth to ensure you are happy with the seasoning. It should be delicately sweet from the coconut cream and moreishly salty from the fish sauce. Add a little more of either if you think necessary.
  • Serve the stew in bowls topped with the remaining ginger and the coriander and basil. This dish is great served with steamed jasmine rice.
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