Gaeng Panaeng Neua (แกงพะแนงเนื้อ)
Thick Red Beef Curry

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500 mL (2 cups/16 fl oz) coconut cream
4 tbs of the curry paste
3 tbs fish sauce
3 tbs palm sugar
250 mL (1 cup/8 fl oz) coconut milk
200g (7 oz) beef rump of sirloin finely sliced
2 fresh large red chillies, roll cut see here
4 kaffir lime leaves, torn
20-30 fresh Thai basil leaves
Curry Paste:
5 dried long red chillies, deseeded and soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
4 red shallots, sliced
1 stalk of lemongrass, finely sliced
½ tbs galangal, peeled and chopped
1 tbs coriander root (cilantro)
½ tbs kaffir lime zest
½ ts white peppercorns
1ts coriander (cilantro) seeds, roasted
½ ts cumin seeds, roasted
1 crushed nutmeg, roasted
Pinch sea salt
1 ts kapi (shrimp paste), roasted – see here
2 tbs peanuts, roasted and ground
A close relation to the Rendang curries of Malaysia and Indonesia, this curry is a favourite of all Thais. It is not as hot as other curries, and is rich and creamy from the coconut cream and peanuts. Thais do not normally like to eat beef, but this curry is the exception. Chicken or pork can also be substituted.

In a medium pan, boil the coconut cream over high heat, stirring constantly to prevent cream from scorching, until it has separated, about 8-10 minutes. Add the curry paste and fry, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes, or until the paste is fragrant. Add the fish sauce and palm sugar and continue to fry until the colour deepens. Moisten with the coconut milk and simmer until the milk has almost evaporated. Then add the beef and simmer until the meat is cooked as desired; 1-2 minutes for medium rare. Garnish with the chillies, kaffir lime leaves and basil leaves and serve. The flavour should be salty, sweet and creamy. Add more fish sauce and/or palm sugar if needed.

Curry Paste:
If using a mortar and pestle, grind the spices and peanuts one at a time and set aside.

For the fresh ingredients, add them one at a time from hardest to softest, starting with the lemongrass; use a little sea salt as the abrasive to break them all down. Pound continuously until you have a rustic paste of all the fresh ingredients. Then add the spices and shrimp paste to the mixture and lastly the ground peanuts.

If using a blender, blend all of the ingredients except the spices until smooth. Then add the spices and lastly the peanuts.

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