Curried Beef Stew


Curry Paste:
6 Dried Puya Chiles, stemmed, seeded
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1 lemongrass stalk, bottom 4″ only, tough outer layer removed, cut into 1″ pieces
2 Tbsp sliced peeled fresh galangal
2 Tbsp sliced peeled fresh turmeric, or 1 tsp Ground Tumeric
1/2 Cup chopped shallots
1/4 Cup halved garlic cloves
1 Tbsp Thai shrimp paste

2 lbs trimmed beef chuck, cut into 1-1/2″–2″ cubes
3 Tbsp soy sauce, preferably Thai thin soy sauce (such as Healthy Boy)
2 Tbsp Ground Dried Thai chiles (we’ve got them whole, just grind a few down!)
9 Cups beef broth, preferably low-salt
1 Cup halved shallots
3 medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4-in thick half-moons (about 1 cup)
6 fresh or frozen kaffir lime leaves
chopped fresh cilantro
thinly sliced Thai basil


For Curry Paste:
In a mortar, pound chiles and salt with a pestle until pulverized, about 5 minutes. Add ingredients one by one in order listed, fully pulverizing each before adding the next, about 15 min total.
(DO AHEAD: Curry paste can be made 1 week ahead; cover and chill.)

For Stew:
Combine curry paste, beef, soy sauce, and ground dried chiles in a large pan or dutch oven; stir to evenly coat beef cubes. Brown beef in the curry and soy sauce over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 min.

Once beef is browned, add low-salt broth, turn up the burner and bring to a boil. Cover pot, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beef is tender but not falling apart, 2–2 1/2 hr.

Stir in shallots, carrots, and lime leaves. Simmer until vegetables are just tender, about 10 min. If broth is too salty, add water a few tablespoonfuls at a time to dilute.

Garnish with cilantro and basil.