Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Massaman Saltbush Lamb

Massaman Saltbush Lamb
Massaman is our favourite Thai curry and it is lovely home-cooked with all the freshly ground spices and coconut milk filling the kitchen with spicy warm aromas. I used locally bought Drovers Choice Saltbush Lamb which is talked about a lot in Dubbo for being of very high quality. Their lambs are grazed on the plant named 'Old Man Saltbush', which grows well out here in Dubbo, and the lamb is full flavoured, juicy and tender with an enduring after taste.

1kg Saltbush Lamb Prime Rump

2 tbsp rice bran oil
1 cup coconut cream
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup chicken stock
2 medium white potatoes, peeled, cut into 3cm pieces
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 2cm pieces
1 cinnamon stick
2 fresh bay leaves
5 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp tamarind paste
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 Star anise
1/3 cup unsalted peanuts

Curry Paste:
8 dried long red chillies, deseeded 
1 brown onion, chopped
1 3cm piece of fresh galangal (peeled, chopped) or 1tbsp dried galangal powder
1 stem lemon grass, trimmed, white part chopped
1 tsp shrimp paste
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground white pepper
3 garlic cloves, chopped 
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Unsalted peanuts
Fresh coriander
Curry Paste:
Process chillies, shrimp paste, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, white pepper and 1 tablespoon cold water until smooth. Add remaining ingredients, 1 at a time, blending well after each addition until mixture forms a thick paste.

Massaman Curry:
Preheat fan-forced oven to 150 degrees C.
Dice the Lamb Rump into 3-4cm cubes.
Heat oil in a large stewing pot (I use a French Chasseur enameled cast iron baking dish) over medium-high heat until hot. Add Lamb pieces and seal until evenly browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add 2 tablespoons coconut cream to pan. Cook over medium heat for 20 seconds or until hot. Add 2 tablespoons of the curry paste. Cook for 1 minute or until aromatic.

Return beef and juices to pan. Add coconut milk, stock, peanuts, potatoes, carrot, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, cardamom pods, sugar, star anise, tamarind concentrate, fish sauce and remaining coconut cream. Stir to combine.

Place in the oven and cook for 1.5 hours on 150 degrees C.

Serve with steamed Jasmine Rice, asian steamed greens and garnishes.

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