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David Thompson’s Country beef curry with chillies and holy basil

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With its abundance of red fruit flavours, the Tahbilk Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre 2015 from Nagambie will complement the chillies in this dish. Velvety smooth, it has a seasoning of clove and kitchen spice, fine savoury tannin depth and savoury length.

INGREDIENTS

  • 140g wagyu beef cube roll lip

 

Garlic paste

  • 1 tbsp peeled garlic cloves
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 long scud (green bird’s eye chillies)
  • Pinch grapao (holy basil) buds

 

Red curry paste 

  • 15 long dried red chillies, deseeded
  • Salt
  • 2 tbsp lemongrass, finely sliced
  • 1 heaped tbsp galangal, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp red shallots, chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp kaffir lime zest
  • 1 scant tbsp gapi (shrimp paste)
  • Large pinch white pepper
  • Large pinch toasted ground coriander seed
  • Pinch toasted ground cumin seed

 

Curry

  • 4 tbsp rendered pork fat
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp mekhong (whiskey)
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • ½ tbsp palm sugar
  • 2 tbsp red curry paste
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • ½ cup stock, up to 2 more
    as needed
  • Pinch chilli powder
  • Pinch galangal powder
  • 2 or 3 long green chillies, cut into lengths, leaving the seeds in
  • Handful holy basil leaves

METHOD

1. To make red curry paste, soak the chillies in water to soften. Remove and squeeze off any excess water then roughly chop. Pound the chillies with a pinch of salt in a mortar with a pestle. Add lemongrass and continue to pound. Add ingredients in order, pounding as added. Add all the spices at once and pound to a fine paste.

2. Slice the beef across the grain.

3. To make the garlic paste, coarsely pound the garlic with the salt, chillies and grapao.

4. Fry garlic paste in the pork fat in a brass wok until just coloured. Add the prepared beef and simmer/fry until cooked and golden and richly aromatic.

5. Season with fish sauce and mekhong
and simmer for a few minutes before adding the nutmeg, palm sugar and curry paste and frying for quite a while until the beef is cooked and smells utterly aromatic. About halfway through add some of the torn kaffir lime leaves.

6. Moisten with the stock and continue
to simmer for several more minutes.

7. Add the chilli and galangal powder.

8. Finish with the chilli and basil. It should taste rich, spicy and have quite a lot of oil.

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Massimo Bottura - Nourishing the soul
Words by Interview Lyndey Milan Words Mark Hughes on 12 Dec 2017
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