Thai-inspired beef curry with butternut squash
On Saturday, Hubby and I met some family downtown for “happy hour” drinks. I put “happy hour” in quotes, because it’s never just an hour. For us on weekends, we usually turn this into a “happy half-day” event. Fortunately (unfortunately?), there is no shortage of “spirited” venues in Saratoga Springs. Many of them have good late-afternoon/early-evening deals on drinks and small plates, even on Saturdays, so we enjoy making the rounds before the crowds come out. This night found us at a local Irish pub, which serves a really nice hard cider. Hard cider is a deceptive drink, as I learned on Sunday morning. It goes down much too easily–like a refreshing, tongue-tickling apple juice–and is too good at quenching the thirst for one to be wary of its 4.5% alcohol content (on a par with the average beer). Needless to say, I got my fill of fermented fruit on Saturday, and so was looking for some solid edibles to calm my sour belly on Sunday. I had gone shopping earlier in the week to stock up on ingredients for an experimental Thai curry. Protein + carbs + toxin-releasing spiciness = Perfect post-imbibing grub. So the next time you “tie one on”, Thai one on…
Spicy Beef & Butternut Squash Curry (Hangover Cure-y)
- Vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 lbs. stew beef chunks
- Large onion, sliced
- Few cloves garlic, minced
- 3-4 tablespoons prepared Thai red curry paste
- 1-2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- (2) cans (about 4 cups) coconut milk (not sweetened)
- 16-20 oz. frozen diced butternut squash, thawed
- 1-2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1-2 tablespoons Thai-style sweet chili sauce
- Unsalted peanuts, crushed
* Post-post additions: Recipes are ever-evolving. After letting this one meld for a day or two, both Hubby and I felt it was “lacking”. I think this could be kicked up by adding 1/2-1 cup of creamy butter and a few generous glugs of red hot chili sauce. Hubby thinks the “hot” could be complemented by some “sweet”, and suggests this concoction be enhanced with a can of pineapple chunks. Will try adding all of this the next time around…if you get there before I do, let me know how the recipe turns out with these add-ins!
Directions: In a large sauce pan, heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat. Add stew beef, and season with salt and ground pepper. Stirring occasionally, cook beef until browned, about 7-10 minutes. Remove beef from sauce pan using slotted spoon and set aside. Discard drippings.
To the same sauce pan, add another tablespoon or two of vegetable oil, along with sliced onion, garlic, curry paste, curry powder, and cayenne. Stir thoroughly to coat onions with the spices, and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until onions soften.
Add beef chunks back in, stirring and cooking for a few minutes more. Pour in coconut milk, stir, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 45 minutes, until beef is tender.
Stir in butternut squash, Worcestershire sauce, and sweet chili sauce, and simmer for another 15-20 minutes. Season to taste with additional cayenne, salt, and pepper. Serve hot over steamed jasmine rice, and topped with crushed peanuts.