Thai beef curry

Thai beef curry

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(26 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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13th Mar, 2015
Don't completely change the recipe and expect it to work.
14th Jan, 2015
Chicken breast will be very dry if done in a slow cooker, they only need, at most half an hour. With beef and lamb it's the fat and sinew, in the meat that keeps it moist as it breaks down during cooking and makes it really soft and tender. You would get away using chicken legs/thighs, on the bone but there's little point in cooking them slowly (in a slow cooker) as slow cooking is really a method of tenderising tougher cuts of meat, I would just do them in the oven for an hour, at around 170c in what ever sauce you like.
14th Apr, 2014
Hi Sonammy, I really sympathise because it's annoying when you've gone to so much trouble and it hasn't worked well. I wonder if there wasn't enough liquid in the slow cooker? I tend to add a couple of inches of boiling stock (or in this case coconut milk) and if it looks too much at the end, I pour the juices into a saucepan and reduce them to a thicker (and very tasty) gravy/sauce.
18th Feb, 2014
I've made this a few times, with a lesser amount of beef. I always use thai curry paste to save the blending etc. Any milky products in the slow cooker separate so I only ever add it in at the last 20 mins. I also don't add the lime in until the last 20 mins as otherwise it tastes tangy.
19th Oct, 2013
Really good flavour combination. The slow cooking infused the brisket with delicious flavours.
12th Sep, 2013
I made this dish in the slow cooker last night with half the amount of brisket beef and the full amount of sauce (although i only added 2 tbsp of fish sauce). As i expected the milk had split so i took the tip from earlier in the page and seived the mixture this morning (removed the beef from the seive and put back into slow cooker and discarded the leftovers) which really helped take away the sharpness. The sauce is now unbeilivabley smooth and full of flavour. I'm currently reducing whats left and added some baby sweetcorn and mange tout. Also the beef is soo tender and soaked up the flavour. The ingredient of a great dish are here! Its just the method maybe needs adjusting! Next time i'll maybe cook the dish and leave the milk until last.
16th May, 2013
I have just bought a slow cooker and decided to try this dish. I followed the recipe and have to say that it was awful. Fish sauce is very strong and just a teaspoon would have been better. The coconut milk separated and the fish sauce taste was overwhelming. It looked awful and the tastes were harsh, as someone says above. Luckily I just did this for the family and not for guests. I would have been mortified to have had to serve this up as a dinner part dish. There are so many fantastic recipes out there but this isn't one of them.
3rd Apr, 2013
I cooked this for my husbands family and it was absolutely fab! I used brisket and put this in the oven at 160o for 2 hours instead of a slower cooker. It was so soft. I had no issues with the coconut cream splitting, however, I have to agree that 50ml of fish sauce was a bit extreme! I put in 2 tbsp, which was sufficient. Definitely recommend this recipe.
18th Mar, 2013
Would this work with beef cheeks?
vintageabbie's picture
23rd Feb, 2013
Absolutely delicious, the flavours are amazing, and the beef really works with the thai flavours. I served for 2, so used the appropriate amount of beef and other ingredients, but used only half (instead of quarter) of the coconut milk and liquids, and the consistency was spot on. Yum!


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