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Beef Panaeng | www.tasteandtellblog.com
Last week, I was totally intimidated and overwhelmed with the recipe that I made.  But it ended up very well, because I loved it!  This week, I went into the recipe with a little more confidence.  A little less stressed.  And well, let’s just say that it was not the success that last week’s recipe was.  But I take all the blame.  First of all, as I was making the paste, I knew something was wrong.  In the book, there is a photo of this dish and it is a deep, lovely red color.  I wasn’t getting any red.  I knew that I was using the wrong chilies, but I think they were way wrong for this recipe.  So as you can see from the photo above, this wasn’t even an attractive dish.  Very blah looking.  Then, I discovered that I’m not really a fan of Thai basil.  It has a bit of a licorice taste to it, and that is not my favorite.  And when I sat down to eat this, it really lacked any sort of bold flavor that I usually associate with Thai food.  In fact, it was a bit bland and tasted mostly of coconut milk.

So really, I take most of the blame for this recipe.  I’d be curious to see how it tastes when it’s made with the correct ingredients!

Recipe Rating:  (I guess this isn’t really fair since I messed it up, but I have to rate it!) 3 out of 5

Beef Panaeng
from Thai Food

serves 4

6 ox. beef brisket or cheek, sinew removed
4 cups coconut milk
3 cups coconut cream
1 1/2 tablespoons palm sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
extra 3 cups coconut milk – optional (see method)
3 kaffir lime leaves, torn
3 long red or green chilies, cut in half and deseeded
large handful of Thai basil leaves

4 tablespoons peanuts
7 dried long red chilies, deseeded, soaked and drained
large pinch salt
1 teaspoon scraped and chopped coriander root
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped galangal
1 tablespoon chopped lemongrass
3 tablespoons chopped red shallot
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1/2 nutmeg, coarsely pounded and briefly roasted

First, make the paste.  Boil the peanuts for at least 30 minutes until very soft, drain and cool.  Pound or blend the paste, adding peanuts last.

Blanch the meat from a cold-water start and rinse.  Bring coconut milk to the boil, add beef, turn down the heat and braise gently until tender – about 2 hours.  Allow to cool in the liquid, then remove and slice.

Crack the coconut cream by simmering over medium heat, then fry 4 tablespoons of the paste in the coconut cream for 10  minutes.  Season first with palm sugar, then, after a minute or so, the fish sauce.  Moisten with the 3 cups coconut milk or the same amount of the beef braising liquid (the latter makes the curry very meaty – it is a matter if preference).  Add the sliced beef, simmer briefly to heat through, and finish with the remaining ingredients.

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7 Responses to Cookbook of the Month Recipe – Beef Panaeng

  1. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    A dish I love. Nice recipe.



  2. Joanne says:

    I'm so sorry you had a bad experience with this because it's one of my favorite meals! i don't really like licorice either but I've never gotten that flavor from this dish. Ah well, you can't win em all!

  3. audreygeddes says:

    Thai food can be tricky, but with a lot of practice you can get it down pat. Thanks for sharing this recipe with us and I hope you try it again, I bet it's yummy :}. You might also enjoy Gigi Centaro's new cookbook, "Let's Cook Tonight," which I have been thoroughly enjoying. The author wrote it specifically for people who don’t like to cook, don’t now how to cook, and who have no time to cook. There's some healthy ideas that are surprisingly simple inside, plus you can download free menus from her website.

  4. Barbara says:

    What a shame! Don't let it take your confidence away! It happens to all of us.

  5. Monet says:

    There is always a risk when you try a new recipe…sometimes they work beautifully, other times they need some adjustment. Thank you for sharing all of the recipes you do…I have certainly found quite a few that I love! Have a great weekend, love.

  6. Abby says:

    As someone said above, Thai food is tricky! I'm always intimidated by Asian recipes because of the ingredients list, too.

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