This main dish is sure to satisfy any meat-loving family! Pumpkin, cauliflower and snowpeas are added to make a tasty, balanced meal. The curry can be eaten on its own or you can add riced cauliflower or broccoli. I've used rump steak in my Red Thai Curry. It was so tender, and lime juice also helped to tenderize the steak. If you want a more economical meal, blade steak is a great option however you will need to increase the simmering time to 1 hour before adding the vegetables.
Not all curry pastes are created equal. Use a good quality red curry paste to ensure a great flavour and ensure it’s free from additives, preservatives, and vegetable oils (I use the Thai Gourmet brand). The more curry paste you add to the dish, the spicier and more flavourful it becomes, so adjust to your family's taste buds.
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Heat a large heavy-based saucepan on medium-high and add the oil. Add the beef and cook, stirring and turning for approximately 5 - 6 minutes.
Push the steak to the sides of the pan once it's sealed. Add the onion, garlic and ginger to the centre of the pan, and cook, stirring for 1 - 2 minutes.
Add the red curry paste, coconut sugar, lime juice and fish sauce to the pan. Stir everything together well.
Pour in the passata and beef broth and bring to a simmer. Cook covered for 30 minutes if using rump, stirring often. Or for blade steak, simmer for 60 minutes.
Add the coconut milk and stir through. Then add the pumpkin, making sure it's covered in the sauce. Pop the cauliflower pieces on top, place the lid back on the pan and bring back to a simmer. Cook for 10 - 15 minutes. Remove the cover and allow the sauce to reduce a little for 5 minutes. Check the vegetables are tender but not falling apart, then stir in the snowpeas to heat through and slightly soften for a couple of minutes.
Serve the curry on its own or with riced cauliflower, broccoli or sweet potato on the side. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.
Ghee is a lactose-free ancient superfood. It is made by slow cooking and clarifying butter to remove the milk solids and lactose, it's pure butter fat. You can get the flavour of butter in your cooking without the dairy (please don't consume if you have an allergy to ghee). My favourite brands are Organic Valley Purity Farms or Puresoul grass-fed. It is also very easy to make yourself. Ghee has a high smoke point 485F/250C.
Choose grass-fed meat to ensure you are eating a healthy animal that's been fed as naturally as possible. Beef is an excellent source of protein but it should not be the only thing on your plate, balance your meal with 2/3 plant based foods and 1/3 meat.
In my recipes when listing onion I am referring to a brown (also called yellow) onion. Onions are members of the allium plant family which also includes garlic, leeks, spring onions and shallots. Onions are valued more for the flavour they impart in cooking than for their nutritional content. Onions are know for their antibacterial effect helping to prevent superficial infections and their sulfur compounds may block carcinogens.
Garlic is a close relative to the onion and has been used throughout history for both medicinal and culinary purposes. In most of my recipes I use minced garlic as I find it distributes better throughout the dish. When in a hurry I use organic minced garlic which I purchase in glass jars and store in the fridge. When garlic powder is needed for a particular recipe, I use 'Simply Organic' brand. Why is garlic so good for us? It is an immune booster, antibiotic, good for the heart, cancer fighter and it's also knew as a weight loss aid (appetite suppressant).
Ginger root is widely used as a spice but also for medicinal purposes. It is a hot spice which you will find in many commercial curry powders. It's often used to prevent motion sickness and nausea. Some studies have shown joint swelling in people suffering with arthritis experience less pain and swelling when taken daily. I like to use fresh minced ginger in my meals and dry ground ginger in baked goods.
Red curry paste is ideal for flavouring meat, chicken, fish and vegetables dishes. The paste is usually a mix of, lemon grass, shallots, garlic, ginger, red chilli, salt, coriander, kefir lime, pepper and cumin. Purchase a brand that contains no MSG, artificial colours or flavourings, preservatives or trans oils. My favourite brand is Thai Gourmet Red Curry Paste.
Coconut sugar is produced from the sap of the flower bud of the coconut palm tree and is a natural food sweetener. I use it when a dry sweetener is required. It has the benefit of a low glycemic index (low GI 35 compared to sugar at 68) and nutritional content. Use in baked goods as an occasional treat but don't overindulge. For a finer texture, add your coconut sugar to the small bowl of a food processor or blender and blend for 8 seconds or until it reaches a fine powder. The colour will lighten once ground.
A lime is a green citrus fruit. There are several species of the lime tree. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and calcium and are used to add flavour to foods and beverages.
Just a little of this sauce will make a big difference to a recipe. Fish sauce is used in Asian cooking, be adventurous and add to other types of dishes to enhance the flavour. Read your label when purchasing as you just want fish and salt, no preservatives or sugar added.
Purchase organic tomato passata/puree in glass containers (pure tomato without sugar or salt). Tomatoes are acidic which increases the rate at which BPA enters food and this can be a concern with canned tomato products. Tomatoes are a useful source of vitamin C, beta carotene, folate and potassium. Tomatoes are a nightshade vegetable.
Home made beef broth is excellent for healing Leaky Gut and to drink when unwell. Traditionally broth was made just from meat bones and simmered for hours to remove the gelatin, marrow and goodness from them. These days vegetables are also added to give extra flavour. If purchasing store bought broth/stocks, read your labels as many companies have changed the name of MSG to yeast extract. Organic or free range brands are available. I keep one on hand for emergencies. I get the butcher to cut my beef bones up so it's easy for the marrow and nutrients to be released easily. I prefer to making my broth in a slow cooker. I keep ice block trays filled with broth in the freezer ready for when just a small amount is required in a recipe.
I use this extensively throughout my recipes; from soups to dinners to desserts and cakes. I think it is the best dairy-free alternative. It gives so much flavour and creaminess to a wide variety of dishes. See coconut milk recipe on page 299 of The JOYful Table cookbook. If purchasing in the can read your labels, even some organic brands contain gums and thickeners, choose full-fat not low-fat versions. I use Honest To Goodness organic cream 400ml and Ayam which isn't organic but has no additives or thickeners and is much creamier and thicker than other brands (that's why I love it), it comes in 400ml, 270ml and 140ml size cans.
Like all orange pigmented vegetables, pumpkins are rich in beta carotene (vitamin A) and studies show pumpkin contains more than carrots.
Cauliflower is one of the cruciferous vegetables that should be eaten on a regular basis, as it has huge health benefits. One cup of cooked cauliflower provides you with 73% of your DRI of vitamin C, it's also a good source of vitamin K. You will find several dozen studies linking cauliflower to cancer prevention.
The snow pea is an edible pod. The flat pod containing seeds is eaten whole, while still unripe. Snow peas are paleo as they are mostly the pod without the peas. This delicious vegetable is commonly used in stir-fries and curries, and are delicious eaten raw with dips or as a healthy snack.
Organic unbleached, unrefined organic Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt is my salt of choice as these contain healthy minerals and trace elements that our body needs. Regular table salt has been bleached, refined and processed leaving minimal health benefits. If you choose to use regular table salt in my recipes you will need to reduce the quantity or the end result will be to salty.
Black and white pepper both come from the fruit of a tropical vine. Black pepper is the cooked and dried unripe fruit, known as a peppercorn and white pepper is from the ripe fruit seed. Pepper is usually coupled with salt, sprinkled over or added to food.
Coriander is also know as cilantro. The fresh chopped green leaves in large amounts are a good source of vitamin C. The fresh leaves are an ingredient in many Indian, Thai, and Mexican dishes. They are usually tossed through just before serving as the heat can diminish the flavour. The dried fruits are known as coriander seeds, the seeds have a lemony citrus flavour when crushed. The word coriander in food preparation may only be referring to the ground seeds not the plant.