Beef Red Curry with Eggplant and Betel Leaf

Beef Red Curry with Eggplant and Betel Leaf

Packed with flavour and easy to prepare, curries are a versatile dish that are worth adding to the weekly menu. Curries can be cooked in batches and frozen and can easily be made vegetarian. In this blog we share a recipe for Beef Red Curry with Eggplant and Betel Leaf. 

The recipe is from The Red Spice Road Cookbook by John McLeay (New Holland Publishers), $35. The Red Spice Road is a popular Melbourne restaurant and this cookbook is a compilation of popular recipes from the venue. 


red spice road cookbook, handyman magazine ,
The Red Spice Road Cookbook by John McLeay (New Holland Publishers), $35 is available from all good bookstores and online
 

  Beef Red Curry with Eggplant and Betel Leaf

Serves 4 as part of a shared meal 

Ingredients  

For the beef

300 g (10 oz) cleaned beef cheek, cut into 4 pieces
750 ml (11⁄2 pints) coconut milk

4 kaffir lime leaves, shredded

100 g (31⁄2 oz) palm sugar, grated

50 ml (2 oz) light soy sauce
 

For the eggplant

1 large eggplant, cut into rounds
50 ml (2 oz) light soy sauce
100 g (31⁄2 oz) tapioca starch 300 ml (10 oz) vegetable oil


For the curry

250 ml (8 fl oz) coconut cream
50 ml (11⁄2 fl oz) red curry paste (see Basics)
350 ml (11 fl oz) reserved cooking liquid from the beef
100 ml (31⁄2 fl oz) fish sauce
100 g (31⁄2 oz) palm sugar, grated

3 cm (11⁄4 in) lemongrass, white part only, sliced finely

3 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced

2 large red chillies, sliced
1 large handful Thai basil leaves
5 betel leaves, torn
1 large handful coriander 
(cilantro) leaves 

2 kaffir lime leaves, finely 
sliced 



The beef 

Step 1 

Heat a little oil in a wok and seal the beef. Transfer to a heavy-based saucepan, add the coconut milk, lime leaves, palm sugar and the soy sauce.

Step 2

Bring to the boil and cover with baking paper and foil. Reduce heat and simmer for 21⁄2 hours, checking occasionally that it hasn’t reduced too much (if it has, top up with a little water).

Step 3

When cooked, remove the beef from the saucepan and set aside until required. Reserve about 350 ml (11 oz) of the cooking liquid.


The eggplant

Step 1

Combine eggplant and soy sauce in a large bowl. Set aside for 30 minutes, then drain.

Step 2

Coat eggplant with tapioca starch.
▪ Heat the vegetable oil in a wok until it’s almost smoking.

Step 3

Fry the eggplant until golden then, using a slotted spoon, remove the eggplant and allow it to drain on paper towels.


The curry 

Step 1

Heat the coconut cream in a heavy-based saucepan until the cream starts to split apart. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the reserved cooking liquid from the beef, the fish sauce, palm sugar, lemongrass and kaffir lime. Bring to a boil, then add beef and cook until the beef is heated through. Add eggplant, red chillies, Thai basil and betel leaves, stir gently.

Step 2

Serve curry garnished with coriander and kaffir lime leaves. 
 

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