Thai beef curry

Thai beef curry

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(27 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 8 hrs


Serves 8

A spicy, authentic Thai green curry for your slow cooker that's ideal for taking the last-minute stress out of entertaining

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal541
  • fat40g
  • saturates20g
  • carbs10g
  • sugars7g
  • fibre0g
  • protein34g
  • salt1.5g
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  • 2-3 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 2kg beef short ribs (bone-in ribs left whole), or brisket, cut into large chunks



    The classic cut of meat for a British Sunday roast, beef is full of flavour, as well as being a…

  • large bunch coriander
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, 1 bashed, 1 roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1-2 green chillies, roughly chopped, deseeded if you like
  • 2cm-piece galangal or ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 50ml rice wine vinegar
  • 50ml fish sauce
    Fish sauce

    Fish sauce

    A seasoning often used in Vietnamese and Thai cooking. In Vietnam it is usually made from shrimp…

  • 2 tbsp palm or light brown sugar
  • 400g can coconut milk
    Coconut milk in a glass, with half a coconut

    Coconut milk

    ko-ko-nut mill-k

    Coconut milk is not the slightly opaque liquid that flows from a freshly opened coconut –…

  • 2 star anise
    Star anise

    Star anise

    star an-eese

    Star anise is one of the central spices in Chinese cooking. It has a strong anise flavour, with…

  • 6 kaffir lime leaves
  • juice 2 limes, plus wedges to serve



    The same shape, but smaller than…


  1. Heat a little of the oil in a large pan and brown the beef in batches, removing to a plate after, reserving any juices. If your slow cooker has a browning function, use this instead. Meanwhile, in a mini chopper or food processor, whizz half the coriander, the chopped lemongrass, garlic, chillies and galangal with the rest of the oil until you have a rough paste.

  2. Turn the slow cooker to High. Heat the paste for a few mins, then add the beef and all the remaining ingredients, apart from the remaining coriander and lime juice. Turn slow cooker to Low and cook for 8 hrs, or until the meat is falling off the bone.

  3. If using beef ribs, remove bones from the beef, then shred the meat with 2 forks. If the sauce is too thin, strain it off and boil it to reduce. Stir in the remaining coriander and lime juice, then season with more fish sauce or sugar.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Darren Grant
26th Oct, 2017
Being new to Lemon grass I did not peel the outer layer….So I had some fibrous bits, but overall the flavour was incredible and authentic.
13th May, 2017
In the slow cooker as we speak - 4 hours in and the coconut milk has already split and disappeared and the remaining sauce looks brown and quite oily. I won't be serving it until tomorrow so when the cooking time is up I plan to take the beef out, strain the sauce to get rid of the oily liquid and then recombine the beef and what is left in the sieve with a new can of coconut milk. Hopefully the coconut milk will infuse with the flavour overnight and I can just gently reheat it all tomorrow. Fingers crossed it will work!
19th Feb, 2017
Absolutely delicious! We used brisket and found we needed around 300g per person for a good sized portion.
simonjohnrobertz's picture
22nd Sep, 2016
I tried this and it worked out well for me. It was somewhat watery yes, so I reduced the sauce down further, on the hob, after the initial 8 hours in the slow cooker which did help thicken it up. I also think the key is to keep tasting it, if you do choose to reduce it down, and tweak the seasoning accordingly (more fish sauce, salt, lime etc), to ensure the taste has enough depth. I also added plenty of coriander at this last stage too. By the way, reheating the left overs the next day the sauce tasted even better.
10th Dec, 2015
I had none of the above ingredients, so I substituted some leftover salad from the bottom draw of the fridge. I would say 8 hours cooking is way too much. It was little more than a bland, liquidy mess.
25th Mar, 2015
Just tried it, reduced the quantity & it was lovely. I added mangetout & it gave it a lift maybe next time baby sweet corn too next time too. Worth a try
28th Apr, 2014
Does anyone know if this recipe is or can be gluten free? Thanks
13th Mar, 2015
Maybe too late. Yes it is gluten free, assuming that the coconut milk isn't thickened with some gluten based thickener. Don't know how or why it would, but that would be the only thing to check.
21st Jul, 2014
Yes it is. As a GF myself, I will definitely be making it :)
14th Apr, 2014
I bought my first slow cooker and decided to try this recipe. I used half the weight of chicken breast and used the green curry paste. I added mange tout, baby corn, aubergine and mushroom. Cooked for 6-7 hours and put the coconut milk in the last 30 min. Results: the curry was majorly dry and the chicken became dry, did not get any other green curry flavour other than the chilli. Really disappointed with the outcome. I was going to do the same method to create a red curry but am now reluctant given the outcome of the green. Any tips?


17th Dec, 2014
Where does the liquid come from if you only add the milk for the last 30 minutes? I'm confused by this.
9th Sep, 2013
Hi, Did everyone use kaffir lime leaves? I cant find anywhere that stocks them :-\
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