How to Make Thai Beef Massaman Curry

There are few meals as hearty and comforting as a rich beef massaman curry that is so tender it melts in your mouth. To make sure that your curry is as succulent as possible, we recommend making this recipe a day or two in advance. Thanks to Beef & Lamb for another fantastic recipe.

beef massaman curry

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Preparation: 15 Minutes | Cooking: 2 Hours | Serves: 6


  • 1 kg chuck or boneless shin/gravy beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 cm piece ginger, grated
  • ⅓ cup massaman curry paste
  • 2½ cups beef stock
  • 400 ml can coconut milk
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled, cubed
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • Fried basil leaves and roasted peanuts to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Cut beef into 2.5-3cm cubes. Season with salt and pepper, then add about 2 tablespoons of oil to beef and mix well. Heat a large frypan over a medium-high heat. Brown the beef in 2 or 3 batches. Remove each batch and place in a casserole dish.
  2. Reduce heat in pan to medium and add a little extra oil. Add the garlic, ginger and curry paste, cook for 1-2 minutes, stir often. Pour in the stock, stirring well. Pour the mixture over the beef in the casserole dish and stir to combine. Cover the casserole dish and place in the oven. Stir every 40 minutes or so, adding a little water if needed to keep the ingredients just covered. Cook until the beef is almost tender (about 90 minutes).
  3. Add the coconut milk, potatoes and fish sauce. Cook for a further 30 minutes, or until the beef is very tender. Garnish with fried basil leaves and roasted peanuts to serve.

Alternative Cooking Methods


  • Place the browned beef, garlic, ginger and curry paste in a heavy-based pot. Cook over a low heat until the curry paste is fragrant. Add the stock. Partially cover, keep the heat low. Stir occasionally, add water if needed during the cooking time to keep ingredients just covered. Simmer until the beef is almost tender. Add the coconut milk, potatoes and fish sauce. Cook for a further 30 minutes, or until beef is very tender.

Sow cooker:

  • Brown the beef well as per the recipe and place in the slow cooker. Combine the garlic, ginger, curry paste with the beef stock and coconut milk. Add mixture and potatoes to the beef. If the liquid doesn’t cover the beef, add a little beef stock or water. Cover the slow cooker with its lid, cook on Low Setting for 8-10 hours or the High Setting for 4-5 hours. Stir in the fish sauce at the end of the cooking time. Garnish with fried basil and peanuts then serve.

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