Penang Beef + Pumpkin Curry (slow cooker)

I can not get over how good this curry is! I generally love the pairing of beef and pumpkin (kabocha squash), and this one was no exception. To amp up the canned curry paste, I added fresh aromatics such as galangal, lemongrass, and makrut lime leaves, as well as some whole dry spices — both are tips + trick I’ve learned from my friend Kai and her mom. Bell peppers instead of green beans would also be good.

You’ll need:

Part A:

  • 1 large shallot, finely minced
  • 1 lb cubed stew beef, or chuck (optionally, you can sear it on the stove to give it an extra caramelized flavor)
  • 1 14 oz can coconut milk (do not shake the can, scoop out 2 tbsp of the coconut cream on top and reserve)
  • 1/2 a 4 oz. can of penang curry paste ~1/4 cup
  • 1 inch piece of galangal, cut into ~1/4 inch pieces
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, cut into large sections and smashed
  • 8-10 makrut lime leaves, crumpled
  • Water (1/2 the volume of a can of coconut milk)
  • (Optional) Extra dry whole spices tied up in a spice bag: 1/2 tsp coriander, 1/4 tsp cumin, and 2 bay leaves
  • (Optional) Chilis

Part B:

  • 1/2 small kabocha, cut into large cubes
  • 1/2 lb green beans, trimmed

Part C

  • 1.5 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar
  • Handful of Thai Basil 

Toppings: reserved coconut cream, freshly roasted peanuts (crushed), additional Thai basil, lime

To make:

  • Add all ingredients from Part A into a slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours.
  • After 3 hours, add ingredients from Part B and cook for remaining hour
  • During the last 10 minutes, mix in fish sauce, sugar, and thai basil. And allow it to cook uncovered for 10 minutes.
  • Remove spice bag and lemongrass, makrut lime leaves, and galangal pieces
  • Serve with rice, topping with reserve coconut cream, peanuts, additional Thai basil, and a squeeze of lime


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