In football, when the quarterback lets loose and throws a pass all the way down the field, it's called a "hail Mary" pass. Sometimes, someone running at full speed manages to catch that pass and run it in for a touchdown. Most of the time, that doesn't happen, but in football, as in cooking, every now and then you just have to take a chance and hope it works out. This red curry beef was a bit of a hail Mary. I was limited to ingredients I had on hand, as this week's snow storm kept me stuck in the house. I began cooking the ground beef before I knew where the dish was going, and when I found some leftover sauce from a curried tofu dish in the refrigerator, I tossed it into the pan. Voila! Red curry beef so good I made a second batch to stash in the freezer. Serve it over rice, if you wish, but I liked it as more of a salad.
Red curry beef with mushrooms, red bell pepper and cilantro
1 lb ground beef (93% lean)
1/2 tsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp fish sauce (I use Three Crabs brand)
1 small bunch of scallions (6-8), thinly sliced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
4 large white mushrooms, sliced
A scant 1/4 cup Thai red curry paste (I use Mae Ploy brand)
6 oz coconut milk
2 tsp cilantro, roughly chopped
In a wok or deep frying pan set over medium heat, brown the beef, breaking it up with a spatula as it cooks. (Don't add any fat to the pan; the meat will render enough fat to cook.)
In a small bowl, mix together the lime juice, brown sugar and fish sauce, and set aside.
When the beef is browned, raise the heat to medium-high, and add the scallions, red bell pepper and mushrooms to the pan. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, until the pepper is just warmed through. Add the curry paste to the wok, and stir for 1 minute. Then, pour in the coconut milk, and stir to combine. Let the dish simmer for 1 minute, and pour in the fish sauce mixture. Stir for 1 minute.
Serve over rice or lettuce leaves. Garnish with cilantro, and serve hot or at room temperature.
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Deborah Madison's pan-glazed tofu with Thai red curry sauce, from The Wednesday Chef
Thai red curry chicken, from Nook & Pantry
Basil chicken in coconut curry sauce, from Simply Recipes
Coconut milk corned beef and cabbage, from Food Wishes
Curry beef short ribs, from Culinary Adventures of a New Wife
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