Mussamun Beef ▶
For this dish, beef tenderloin is stewed in a rich Mussamun curry sauce. It is accompanied by potatoes, grilled baby zucchini, and fried carrot curls, sprinkled with fragrant fried shallots and roasted peanuts. The recipe uses 10 dried red chilies; adjust depending upon just how hot you like it. You will find the ingredients in many large groceries, and in Asian markets.
- Red Curry Paste
- Dried Red Chilies - 10, seeded and soaked in 2 cups water to soften
- Minced fresh lemongrass - 1 tablespoon, chopped
- Galangal - 1/2 tablespoon sliced (alt. ginger)
- Kaffir Lime Leaves - 1/4 teaspoon crushed
- Garlic Clove - 1, minced
- Shallot - 1/2, sliced
- Shrimp Paste (Kapi) - 1 teaspoon
- Coriander - 1/4 teaspoon, ground
- Cumin - 1/4 teaspoon, ground
- Water - 1/2 cup
- Mussamun Beef
- Coconut Milk - 2 cups
- Beef Tenderloin - 1 pound, sliced into 1-inch thick pieces
- Beef Stock - 1-1/2 cups (alt. chicken stock) (See Basics)
- Thai Fish Sauce - 2 tablespoons
- Sugar - 1 teaspoon
- Palm Sugar - 1 teaspoon
- Tamarind Juice - 1-1/4 teaspoon
- Peanuts - 1 teaspoon, ground
- Dry Red Wine - 1 tablespoon
- Shelled Peanuts - 1 cup, chopped
- Red Waxy-Type Potatoes - 4
- Baby Zucchini - 2
- Carrot - 1, peeled
- Peanut oil for frying
- Shallot - 1/2, sliced into thin rings
- Jasmine Rice - 1 cup, steamed
To make the curry paste: Put all ingredients, including the water in which the chilies were soaked, in a blender and puree until they form a smooth paste.
To prepare the beef: Put the curry paste in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat and heat. Add 1 cup of the coconut milk and stir until blended. Cook until it bubbles and the aroma of the curry is released, 4 to 5 minutes. Gently stir in the beef. Add the stock and the rest of the coconut milk; the beef should just be covered. Add a little more stock or even a little water to bring the level up if necessary. Add the remaining ingredients and reduce the heat to medium-low; simmer about 1 hour, or until the sauce is reduced by half.
To prepare the garnishes: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spread the peanuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake 7 to 10 minutes, until fragrant and beginning to color. Remove and set aside.
Pare the potatoes, leaving bands of red skin. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and add the potatoes; boil over medium heat until just soft all the way through, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove and drain.
Cut the top off the zucchini diagonally. Cut a notch in the blossom end to remove the blossom spot. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Heat 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil in a medium saute pan and add the carrots, tossing to coat. Saute until just softened. Remove and drain on paper towels.
Using a spiral slicer (preferably) or a mandoline, slice the carrot into long very thin strips. Heat the oil to 360 F in a deep fryer or deep pan. Add the carrot strips and fry until softened and beginning to crisp. Remove with tongs and drain on paper towels. Add the shallot rings and fry until just crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
To serve: Spoon just enough of the sauce into two warmed soup plates to coat them. Divide the beef between the plates and center the beef on the plates. Pour the curry sauce over them. Cut the potatoes n half and arrange potato pieces around one side of the beef. Lean two pieces of zucchini against the beef on both plates. Sprinkle the tops with fried shallots and the peanuts. Top each with a nest of carrot curls.