I was one of 8 lucky food bloggers selected to participate in BB&T Charleston Wine and Food Lambs and Clams Original Recipe Contest. There will be 4 challenges and our recipes will be posted on the festival’s Facebook page for voting.
The first challenge was to create a recipe with lamb leg from Border Springs Farm. Border Springs lamb is naturally grown and grass-fed. I received a gorgeous 6 lb lamb leg and immediately sent out an email to my friends inviting them for a Sunday lunch. I wanted to make something warm and comforting, and that I could make in advance.
Massaman curry is one of my favorite Thai dishes, it is fragrant and comforting. This is not a spicy curry, but it is incredibly flavorful. The curry paste requires quite a few ingredients, so I like to make a big batch of the curry paste and freeze it. That way I can whip up a creamy Massaman curry fairly quickly without having to deal with making the curry paste. My recipe for the paste is not entirely traditional, I like to add turmeric for color and cardamom for fragrance and flavor.
This is the type of dish that you can customize to your taste. You can add more or less of the curry paste. You can also add more fish sauce or palm sugar (or brown sugar) to the finished dish to make it more sweet/sour, depending on how you like it.
My friends loved it and they all went home with leftovers to have for lunch the next day.
Massaman Curry Paste
• 1 cup roasted cashews or peanuts (unsalted)
• 2 teaspoons turmeric
• 2 teaspoons ground coriander
• 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, finely chopped with a knife (or ground in a spice grinder)
• 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
• ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 2 to 4 small dry chilies, soaked in hot water, seeds removed, and chopped (or 2 fresh Thai chilies, seeds removed, if available)
• 1 cup shallots, minced
• 12 garlic cloves, finely minced
• ½ cup fresh lemongrass, finely minced
• ¼ cup finely minced ginger (about a 5 inch piece, peeled)
• ¼ cup palm sugar (or dark brown sugar)
• 2 teaspoons shrimp paste (or anchovy paste)
• ¼ cup fish sauce
• Zest of 1 Makrut lime (or zest from 1 small lime)
• 4 teaspoons tamarind paste
1. Dry roast the spices (turmeric, coriander, fennel, cardamom, and cinnamon) in a skillet until fragrant.
2. Add all ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth. Makes about 2 cups.
Lamb Massaman Curry
(serves about 8, with rice)
• 2 lbs lamb leg meat, cut into 2 inch cubes
• ½ cup curry paste, plus 2 tablespoons for marinating the lamb
• 3 tablespoons coconut oil (or canola oil)
• 1 large onion, cut in half and sliced
• 1 can coconut milk (13.5 ounces)
• 1 cup vegetable broth
• 6 Makrut lime leaves (preferably fresh or frozen, but dry work well too)
• 4 medium carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
• 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes
• 1 large red bell pepper, cored and sliced
• Chopped roasted cashews or peanuts for garnish
• Chopped cilantro for garnish
• Cooked jasmine rice for serving
1. Place the lamb in a bowl, sprinkle it lightly with salt, and mix in 2 tablespoons of the curry paste. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
2. In a large Dutch oven, over medium-high heat, add 3 tablespoons coconut oil. Once hot, add in the onions and cook until translucent. Remove onions from the pot and set aside. Add in the lamb, and ½ cup of curry paste. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add in the onions, coconut milk, vegetable broth, and Makrut lime leaves. Bring to a boil. Cook covered over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes or until the lamb is tender.
3. Add the carrots, potatoes and red bell pepper and cook uncovered until the potatoes are tender, about 10-15 more minutes. Cooking the curry uncovered will let the sauce reduce and thicken. Taste the curry for seasoning and add more salt if necessary. Garnish with roasted cashews or peanuts, and cilantro.
4. Serve with jasmine rice on the side.
Note: You can use lamb, or beef, or chicken. You just need to adjust the cooking time accordingly. You want to cook the meat until tender, and then continue with step 3.
If you liked the recipe, please don’t forget to go vote at the BB&T Wine + Food Festival Facebook Page. (I will link to the voting tab once it’s up)