- 2tbsp oil, plus 1tbsp extra
- 1kg (2lb 4oz) stewing beef, cut into chunks
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 2 to 3 large red chillies, sliced
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 x 400ml tins coconut milk
- 200ml (7fl oz) beef stock
- 1 cinnamon stick
- knob of root ginger, peeled and chopped
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
- 2tsp Thai fish sauce
- 2tsp soy sauce, preferably Kikkoman
- boiled basmati rice, to serve
- 50g (2oz) cashew nuts, toasted, to serve
- small handful of coriander leaves, to serve
Heat the oil in a large casserole, season the beef and brown well on all sides in batches. Set aside and add 300ml (½pt) cold water to the casserole and, over the heat, scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Retain these juices.
Heat the extra oil and gently cook the onion and chillies for 5 minutes until soft, then add the garlic and turn up the heat for 2 minutes or until the onion is beginning to go a light brown colour. Add the beef back to the pan along with the beef juices, coconut milk, stock, cinnamon stick and ginger. Cook, uncovered, over a very gentle heat for 1½ hours, so that it is barely simmering and the beef is tender. If you let the coconut milk boil it will split, so watch it.
Once the beef is quite tender, add the sweet potatoes and cook for 20 minutes or until tender. Season with the fish sauce and soy sauce and serve on a bowl of rice sprinkled with cashew nuts and coriander.
Top Tip for making Coconut Beef
If using a slowcooker, browning the meat will add flavour but it's not essential, we would however cook the onion, chillies and garlic as in step 2. Then add the remaining ingredients, reducing the coconut milk and stock by a third, cover with the lid and cook on a low setting for 8-10 hours