October 01, 2010

Crockpot Coconut Beef Curry

Last Saturday I knew Jeffrey and I would be running errands and doing some out-of-town shopping, so right after breakfast I got the crockpot out and put together everything for my Crockpot Coconut Beef Curry.  It's pretty quick to assemble, although you do have to take the time to brown the spice-coated meat. 

This recipe calls for dried apricots, each one cut into three pieces.  The fastest and easiest way to do this is to simply snip them with kitchen shears.  It also calls for golden raisins.  Don't be tempted to substitute regular raisins- they become bitter during the long cooking time, and they just plain look unappetizing in the finished dish.

If you've never used coconut milk before, make sure that you shake the can really well before opening.  There are sometimes solids in the can, and it's easier to get everything out if it's been shaken up.  You may have to use the can opener on the bottom instead of the top of the can, like in the picture below. I don't know why this is - just one of the mysteries of the universe, I guess. 

 I like the NON-lowfat version of Taste of Thai brand coconut milk, but if I double this recipe, I do use one can of regular coconut milk and one can of reduced fat coconut milk.  Make sure you're not using sweetened coconut milk, it's not an acceptable substitute.

Here's the full recipe:

Crockpot Coconut Beef Curry
1/2 cup              flour
2 teaspoons       sweet curry
1/2 teaspoon     ginger
1/2 teaspoon     ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 pounds            extra-lean stew meat
1/4 cup              butter
3 ounces            dried apricots, cut into thirds (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup              golden raisins

1 14.5 ounce can petite-diced tomatoes
1 14 ounce can   coconut milk
6 servings          cooked Basmati rice

Combine flour, sweet curry, ginger, ground coriander and salt in a gallon-size resealable plastic food storage bag.  Add the stew meat and seal the bag, leaving a little bit of air inside.  Holding the bag at the seal (just in case!), shake the bag to coat the stew meat with the flour-spice mixture.

Melt butter in a big fry pan, then add the beef, being very careful not to hold the plastic bag so close that it melts in the pan (ask me how I know this).  If there is any extra flour mixture, leave in the bag for now.

Sauté the beef pieces, stirring to make sure all sides are cooked evenly.  Now you can pour any remaining flour mixture on top.  Spoon the beef mixture carefully into a large crockpot.  Stir in the dried apricot pieces, golden raisins and the cans of diced tomatoes and coconut milk.

Cook at least 6 hours on low heat.  I've cooked this up to 9 hours without a problem.  Just stir it all up before serving.

About 30 minutes before you want to serve dinner, make the Basmati rice according to package directions.  Serve over hot rice.  This is also great with Naan (or any crusty bread) to soak up the yummy gravy.

This recipe is easily doubled, and freezes well.

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