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This recipe was uploaded by Mango Ginger
A hearty, warming fusion of a Thai and British classic.
Time: 1hr 40 mins (20 mins prep, 30 mins to make your paste, 30 mins to make the curry, 20 mins cooking time)
Rating: A fair bit of effort: Making the paste takes time and energy. But it’s worth it.
2. Peel and chop the potatoes into equal chunks and set aside.
3. Cut the beef into chunks about 2cm in size, discarding any fat. Chop the onion into medium-sized chunks. Set aside.
4. Then make your curry paste. Dry roast the dry spices (the first 7 ingredients) in a pan on medium heat until fragrant, about 2-4 minutes, stirring frequently. You won't see much change in colour but you'll smell the spices warming. You want to smell them roasting, but not burning.
5. Pound the dry spices in a mortar & pestle until powdered, or grind in a food processor or coffee grinder, then set aside. Separately pound/grind the rest of the paste ingredients with the salt, starting from the toughest, working up to the softest (i.e. lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and finally shallots). This is the most time-consuming part of the process but it's worth putting the effort in so you get a nice smooth paste. Then add the dried spice powder back in. Mix well. It should be a rich rusty colour and smell amazing.
6. Next, peel and chop your potatoes into equal-sized chunks and put them in the boiling water and cook them until tender.
7. While the potatoes are boiling, heat the oil in a large pan or wok over a medium heat. Add the curry paste and fry this until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Keep stirring so it doesn't burn.
8. Add the beef chunks and onion. Fry until the meat is browned, about 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
9. Add half the coconut milk. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 2-3 minutes. Don't stir very much, just enough to combine.
10. Meanwhile coarsely chop or crush the peanuts, either on a chopping board with a good knife, with a mortar and pestle or in a food processor. Add the peanuts, the rest of the coconut milk and the cinnamon stick to the curry and stir.
11. Let the mixture simmer on a low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently. The sauce should thicken and darken.
12. Your potatoes should have boiled by now. While the curry is simmering, make your mash. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pan off the heat – make sure they are dry and well-drained. Mash vigorously to get rid of any lumps. Then using a wooden spoon beat in the milk, butter, egg yolks and seasoning. (I've never used egg yolk in mash before but I saw this on Gordon Ramsay's shepherd's pie recipe and thought I'd try it. It makes the mash creamy and gives it a nice colour). Set the mash aside and return to the curry.
13. Stir in the fish sauce, sugar, and lime juice. Taste – you may wish to adjust the flavour by adding more of any of these ingredients. Cook for another 5 mins and take off the heat. Finely chop the fresh coriander and stir in.
14. Remove the cinnamon stick and pour the beef curry into your baking dish. It may look a bit runny but it'll all come good in the baking, don't worry. Spoon the mash on top and smooth over. Using a fork, score lines into the top layer of the mash – this helps it brown in the oven.
15. Bake for 18-20 minutes until warmed through and slightly browned on top.
16. While the pie is baking, steam or stir-fry some green veg to serve on the side.
Cooking ahead? Get your paste made in advance, and the rest will be as easy as pie! The paste will keep for X days in a sealed container in the fridge. Pour a little bit of vegetable oil over the top so it doesn't dry out.