Kaeng Kàrìi (Yellow Curry with Beef and Potatoes)

Yellow Curry with Beef and Potatoes (Kaeng Karii)
Yellow Curry with Beef and Potatoes (Kaeng Karii)
The dried spices in this complex, coconut-enriched Thai curry from chef Andy Ricker of Pok Pok reveal its South Asian origins. Ricker's advice, from his October 2013 article The Star of Siam: "Follow the recipe exactly the first time, then adjust the seasonings and the coconut milk. Put your stamp on it. After all, that's what the Thai do."Penny De Los Santos

The dried spices in this complex, coconut-enriched Thai curry from chef Andy Ricker of Pok Pok reveal its South Asian origins. Ricker's advice, from his October 2013 article The Star of Siam: "Follow the recipe exactly the first time, then adjust the seasonings and the coconut milk. Put your stamp on it. After all, that's what the Thai do."

Kaeng Kàrìi (Yellow Curry with Beef and Potatoes)
The dried spices in this complex, coconut-enriched Thai curry from chef Andy Ricker of Pok Pok reveal its South Asian origins. Ricker's advice, from his October 2013 article The Star of Siam: "Follow the recipe exactly the first time, then adjust the seasonings and the coconut milk. Put your stamp on it. After all, that's what the Thai do."
Yield: serves 8-10

FOR THE PASTE

  • 6 small Asian shallots or 2 medium regular shallots, unpeeled
  • 2 small heads garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 (3"-piece) galangal, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 (2"-piece) ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 20 dried red Thai chiles or chiles de árbol, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp. ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp. mild curry powder
  • 2 tbsp. roughly chopped cilantro root or stems
  • 2 tbsp. shrimp paste, preferably Trachang brand
  • 1 12 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 6 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and thinly sliced

FOR THE CURRY

  • 1 12 lb. beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 2" strips about 1/2" thick
  • 3 cups coconut milk, preferably UHT from a carton
  • 1 cup coconut cream, preferably UHT from a carton
  • 10 small Asian shallots, halved, or 3 medium regular shallots, quartered
  • 3 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2" pieces
  • 2 tbsp. grated palm sugar
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce, preferably Tiparos brand
  • Cooked jasmine rice, for serving

Instructions

  1. Make the paste: Heat a 12" cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Place shallots and garlic on a piece of foil and fold into a tight package; add to pan. Cook, flipping once, until soft, about 25 minutes. Let cool, then peel and roughly chop; set aside. Place galangal and ginger in a single layer on a piece of foil and fold into a flat package; add to pan. Cook, flipping once, until soft, about 7 minutes; set aside. Heat coriander seeds in pan until seeds begin to pop, 1–2 minutes; let cool slightly. Place in a spice grinder and pulse until finely ground; set aside.
  2. Place chiles in a bowl and cover with 2 cups boiling water; let sit until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain, reserving 2 tbsp. liquid. Place chiles in a small food processor with shallots, garlic, galangal, ginger, coriander, turmeric, curry powder, cilantro root, shrimp paste, salt, and lemongrass; pulse until roughly chopped. Add reserved liquid; purée until smooth. Set 1 cup aside; refrigerate remaining paste for future use up to 2 weeks.
  3. Make the curry: Bring beef and coconut milk to a simmer in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is very tender, about 1 hour. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beef to a bowl and reserve 1 12 cups coconut milk; set beef and coconut milk aside.
  4. Heat coconut cream in a 6-qt. saucepan or 13" wok over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until oil is separated, about 30 minutes. Add the 1 cup curry paste; cook, stirring, until slightly browned, about 7 minutes. Add reserved coconut milk to pan along with 3 cups water; bring to a boil. Add reserved beef, plus shallots and potatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are very tender, about 40 minutes. Stir in palm sugar and fish sauce. Serve with jasmine rice on the side.