Requests for slow cooker recipes are starting to pour in. I have a ton….I shared one. And with the holiday rush just around the corner I agree that we should be using the slow cooker more than ever. It ’s nice to come home from work (or holiday shopping with all the crazy people) to a nice hot meal that’s not delivered from the nearest pizza joint.
I love my slow cooker, it’s ancient….like a whole 20 years old. It’s reliable if the ingredients are prepped in the right way and if I’m home to turn down the heat when it’s time. (Quick tip: If you can, make sure your slow cooker has a timer with a “warm” setting.) I’ve come home to many meals that looked like canned cat food because the vegetables and meat had all combined into an unrecognizable mess. It tasted amazing….but still, we do eat with our eyes first and my eyes immediately had indigestion in those cases.
This Thai Red Curry Beef recipe is adapted from the Williams Sonoma Essentials of Slow Cooking book. It’s slightly spicy so you can definitely trim back the heat a little bit by using less curry paste but I like my food spicy….so there you have it. It will intensify overnight so keep that in mind if you plan to take leftovers to work the next day.
Don’t be turned off by the prep work, part of the unsuccessful “Crock Pot” dinners I know of are those where everything is thrown into the pot without cooking or imparting some level of flavor first. It’s very rare a recipe exists where you throw and go with stellar results. If you know of one, let me know….I would love to try it out!
The 10-15 minutes you need to get this dish started are worth the effort. And you’ll only have one pan to clean and maybe a bowl. You will be rewarded with an amazing meal after a long day of listening to corporate lingo or whiney holiday shoppers.
I like to serve this over couscous (I used a Pearl Couscous from Bob’s Red Mill in the photo). You can serve it over rice or just eat it like a stew with a side of flatbread for dipping.
Slow Cooker Red Curry Beef
Adapted from Williams Sonoma Essentials of Slow Cooking
2 1/2 pounds chuck roast cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil (I used California Olive Ranch)
1 vidalia onion, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, minces
1/2 cup Thai red curry paste
2 cans (13 1/2 ounces each) unsweetened coconut milk
2 1/2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
In a large bowl, toss the beef with 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper to coat evenly. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over med-high heat and, in batches, saute the beef until browned on all sides. Approximately 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add the onion and garlic to the pan and saute for 1 minute over med-high heat. Add the curry paste and stir until it coats the onion and garlic, approximately 30 seconds. Deglaze the pan with the coconut milk, stirring and scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice and brown sugar and heat to boiling.
Transfer the beef to the slow cooker and add the coconut milk mixture. Cover and cook until the beef is tender and the sauce is thickened, approximately 3 hours on the high setting or 6 hours on the low setting.