Thai beef curry

Thai beef curry

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(32 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


  • 2-3 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 2kg beef short ribs (bone-in ribs left whole), or brisket, cut into large chunks



    The classic choice of meat for a British Sunday roast. Beef is full of flavour, as…

  • 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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Kevin Pearce's picture
Kevin Pearce
14th Apr, 2020
My wife, who's from Thailand, took a look at this and rolled her eyes. Sorry! Thai cooking is quick, in a wok, or on a BBQ. Slow cooker? I don't think so. There isn't time. Thais tend not to eat beef and if they do, it's in small quantities as it's expensive compared to pork and chicken. The beef should be cut into small strips and fried quickly in a wok taking about 10 mins.
24th Mar, 2020
Awful recipe! Too much rice wine vinegar makes the taste incredibly sharp - too much so for a curry dish. Then leaving the coconut milk for so long allows it to separate and taste terrible.
10th Jan, 2020
Avoid avoid avoid! Unfortunately not possible to give 0 ratings but sauce far too runny. Indecently we’ve both had food poisoning since, granted it may just be bad luck but I wouldn’t bother with this again especially as it’s a fair amount of effort and expense.
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


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 :-\
Michelle Bracher's picture
Michelle Bracher
16th Apr, 2020
2 tablespoons of fish sauce is plenty. You can always add more later. I also don't add the coconut milk until about 40 minutes before I'm ready to serve the food. That way it doesn't split and doesn't on reheating either.
28th Mar, 2020
If the sauce splits, I add a few teaspoons of the liquid to a heaped teaspoon or so of cornflour to make a paste and then put it back into the sauce and it seems to blend and hold it all together again. I have made this countless times Ann’s does this most times. The flavours are amazing.
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