Lamb Massaman Curry
See also Beef Massaman.
Lamb massaman curry is a truly luxurious dish. Lamb Shanks cooked in a massaman sauce become meltingly tender and the spices blend so harmoniously with the lamb it truly is a perfect match. This is an oven cooked dish requiring around 3 hours cooking time. If you are thinking of using a slow cooker, then please check out this link as the recipe would need to be adapted. This is not an everyday curry so personally, I would stick with the oven for best results.
For 2 lamb shanks I'm using one pouch of massaman paste, 1 can of coconut milk and around 200g of small potatoes. A small handful of peanuts, you can either shell them or if you only have salted peanuts you can rinse off the salt and leave to dry on kitchen towels. Of course if you have raw peanuts you can pan roast them for a few minutes. You will also need an onion if you want to garnish it as in the above picture. The pastes are complete but it is always a good idea to have a little lime juice to hand to adjust sweetness, if needed, to your personal taste at the end of cooking. You also adjust saltiness by adding a little more fish sauce or salt if required.
Make sure you’re using the “right” type of coconut milk as it will make or break this or any other coconut based curry. Quick guide here, Coconut Milk Summary or if you would like to see the difference between different brands of coconut milk the full article is here, Cooking Thai Curry with Coconut Milk.
Place lamb shanks in casserole and surround with the potatoes, some of the fried onion and peanuts.
Heat the massaman sauce in a pan and add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer.
Pour onto the lamb and potatoes.
Top up with water if needed until the meat and potatoes are covered.
Cover and cook for around 3 hours at 150C. Check on it around halfway to make sure the liquid is not evaporating too fast which can happen if the casserole lid is not a good fit. At the end of cooking time check meat is tender, also that the potatoes are cooked correctly, if not then put back in oven for another 30 minutes. Stir the pan to mix in any oil that may have separated or skim off some oil if there is too much. Let the lamb rest in the covered casserole pot for 10 minutes before serving. Note, this can be cooked on the hob under a very low heat but you will have to check and stir from time to time to prevent sticking. I find that the oven works better for me.
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This is a totally delicious way to serve roast chicken as well as being very simple to prepare. Cooking a whole chicken this way is practised in various forms throughout Asia, sometimes pot roasted, sometimes over hot coals and with many different curry pastes. Often cooked in the home, rather than restaurants, which is probably the reason why many Westerners are not familiar with the dish. Well, now is the time to change that and I promise you that you won't regret it!
This is a dish that is incredibly easy and quick to prepare. If you have a bag of frozen seafood in the freezer and the whole dish can come together in the time it takes to cook the rice. Talking of rice, I find myself increasingly turning to black rice
This is as fiery as it gets for a Thai curry, it is way more spicy than most people can handle. It is also one of the simplest Thai curries to prepare, Jungle curries, or more accurately, forest curries, were traditionally made with whatever was to hand so your choice of meats and vegetables comes down to whatever you wish to put in it.