Cut and Paste Thai Red Beef Curry

To most of us, “cut and paste” implies taking shortcuts and not doing things the right way. This particular bit of “cut and paste” is the logical, easy end result of really doing the right thing. My last post on this blog was for a delicious Thai style red curry paste prepared in bulk. Doing that facilitates the cut and paste approach to making a really beautiful Thai Red Beef Curry. All you need to do is cut the ingredients and add the paste before a rudimentary bit of cooking.

The ingredients for this curry are scant in the extreme as long as you only pay attention to the non paste ingredients. As the paste is in the last post, here’s all you will need if you have done the right thing and made your own paste. 


  • 1 kilo of good quality beef shin, cubed
  • 3 tablespoons of my Thai style curry paste
  • 1 can 400 ml of coconut milk
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 250ml (half pint) of good beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 1 handful of coriander (cilantro)

The cooking instructions are a dream. And you have time to dream as the beef needs to be marinaded in the curry paste, ideally for 24 hours.

This paste is really pungent. It makes a great curry.

Do that first. Take the marinaded beef from the fridge and let it get back to room temperature.

This marriage of flavours is delightful.

Add some oil to a medium hot pan and fry the beef until nice and brown on two of the sides. This intensifies the flavours and cooks the paste ingredients into the bargain. 

This is a huge flavour punch. It really is powerful.

While this is going on, cut the onions and peppers into pieces about the same size of the beef cubes. Fry the onions until soft in a casserole large enough for all the ingredients.

My most abstract pouring shot ever. Just throw them into the pot.

This is more of a sliding shot than a pour. Still worthy IMHO.

I made that stock a few weeks ago. It is packed with flavour.

When these are translucent, add the fried beef, peppers, stock, coconut milk and fish sauce. Bring it to a gentle boil, stirring to combine. Then pop it into a 180ºC (350ºF) fan oven for a couple of hours. Check every now and again to be sure the sauce hasn’t over-thickened. If it has, stir in a bit of water to solve the issue. 

An absolute delight with a nice cold beer to take the edge off.

Tear off lots of the coriander leaves, chop and stir into the mixture. Serve with rice or naan breads. I served with white rice this time, with a sprinkling of coriander leaves and a nice cold beer to take the edge off that hot sauce. This is a case of “cut and paste” really being the right way to go. Enjoy. 

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Latest comments
  • It’s 6:30 in the morning and I want Thai Red Beef Curry. Now. Not 24 hours from now. Now. Whether you call it pouring or sliding, those shots are definitely the inspirations for food dreams. 🙂

  • Can I just say: your staging of this dish just sings! Such gorgeous saturated colours and beautifully chosen dishes and napery. I’ll probably never make this dish, but I find it very aspirational all the same 🙂

  • A beautiful oft cooked and loved dish prepared by you in an absolutely classic way. With other unavoidable priorities in life during days past have yet to make your paste but am about to get back to cooking . . . and joyfully travelling around the Emerald Isle with your video help ! Hope your weather has been as springlike as it was around the Windsor area my midnight hours . . . be well . . .

  • What a triumph of a dish, I’ll just have to suffer through with the heat. Your photos from the making of the paste through to the completed meal are outstanding.

  • this looks very tasty indeed. i love a good red curry! and your paste looks marvellous.

  • Oh my gosh this looks sooo good! I did have a little chuckle over “do the right thing!!” I think I’ll have to do so because I suddenly have the strangest craving for this beef!


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