Penang Beef Curry
- ACTIVE: 25 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 30 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4 to 6
Hanger steak gets braised in an aromatic broth until melt-in-your-mouth tender, then simmered in spicy coconut curry sauce.
- One 2-inch piece of peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced
- 5 cilantro stems
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 star anise pod
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon black soy sauce (see Note) or 3/4 teaspoon soy sauce with 1/4 teaspoon molasses
- 2 teaspoons crushed rock sugar or turbinado sugar
- Kosher salt
- 2 pounds hanger steak, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Penang or red curry paste (see Note)
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Kosher salt
- Cilantro leaves, for garnish
- Steamed rice and lime wedges, for serving
- PREPARE THE BRAISED BEEF Wrap the ginger, cilantro stems, garlic, peppercorns, cloves and star anise in a cheesecloth bundle and tie with kitchen string. In a large saucepan, combine 3 quarts of water with the spice bundle, both soy sauces, rock sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Add the steak cubes and simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, about 1 hour. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a plate. Discard the spice bundle and reserve the spiced broth for another use.
- MEANWHILE, MAKE THE CURRY In a large, deep skillet, heat the vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the curry paste and fry over moderately high heat, stirring, until the paste is fragrant and the oil is bright red, about 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice and sugar and bring just to a simmer.
- Add the steak cubes to the curry sauce and simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Season with salt. Ladle the beef curry into bowls and garnish with cilantro leaves. Serve with steamed rice and lime wedges.
The spicy and fragrant Penang curry paste pairs well with a steely, citrusy Australian Riesling.