Chili Coriander Beef

Chili Coriander Beef

This dish is essentially a Curry prepared very much in South-East Asian style. It features strips of Beef that are first marinated ground Coriander Seed and other aromatic spices, then slow-cooked, along with Red Peppers, Ginger, Garlic and Chili Paste, in a medium of Coconut Water, much the same way as the technique used in my Vietnamese Coconut Water Pork. It takes a while to prepare but is well worth the time and effort.

Ingredient Notes

Just to be clear, this recipe calls for Coconut Water, which is distinct from Coconut Milk. You could actually use the latter with the rest of the ingredients here and make a Rendang style Curry along the lines of my Pork Rendang Thai-Style.

For the Chili Paste, you can choose almost any style you like as long as it is not too heavily flavored with other ingredients. My choice for this recipe is a simple Sambal Oelek.

The Basic Method

Marinating Beef in a dry spice blend with oil
Marinating Beef in a dry spice blend with oil

 The first step is marinating the Beef with the spice mix. Lightly toast the Coriander Seed, Fenugreek Seed and the Cloves in a dry pan and then grind them to a powder together with the other spice blend ingredients. Mix this with the Beef, along with a Tablespoon of oil and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. I have actually the meat in the refrigerator for nearly two full days in the past and I believe this actually improved the final result.

Browning the Beef
Browning the Beef

When you are ready to cook, heat up a few tablespoons of oil in a pot over moderate heat and, working in small batches, quickly brown the beef strips, removing them to a bowl as they are done. You may need to add a little additional oil with each batch.

Cooking the Onions and Deglazing the Pan
Cooking the Onions and Deglazing the Pan

Next, add the butter to the pot and then sauté the onions and ginger. Add a little splash of water at the beginning and scrape up the caramelized brown bits leftover from the beef as you stir the onions. As the onions soften, turn down the heat and cook slowly, stirring from time to time, until they are nicely golden brown

By the way, you may notice that I have switched pots after this part of the process You won’t need to do his unless you discover, as I did, that the original one was a bit small for cooking the whole dish. 

Cooking the Beef with the other aromatics
Cooking the Beef with the other aromatics

Turn up the heat to medium high and add back the peppers, garlic and chili paste. When the peppers begin to soften add the meat, including any juices thrown off, and sauté a few moments longer.

Finishing the Chili Coriander Beef
Finishing the Chili Coriander Beef

Finally, add the coconut water to just cover the meat and allow it to come to a brisk boil. Let it bubble for a few minutes and then turn down to simmer for a half-hour or so, cooking until the liquid is much reduced and thickened to a rich sauce. You can serve right away, if you like but the dish will improve no end if you allow it to cool overnight and then reheat for service the next day.

Rice is a good accompaniment, and, as illustrated in the first picture, you can include some other ‘sambals’ to sprinkle on top at the table. I have used peanuts, and, as a ‘cool-down’ for the spiciness of the chili, some chunks of canned pineapple too.  Enjoy…


Your Recipe Card:

Chili Coriander Beef

Chili Coriander Beef is a South-East Asian style Curry featuring Beef marinated with aromatic spices, then slow cooked with Chili Paste in Coconut Water.
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Beef, Chili Paste, Coconut Water, Coriander Seed, Fenugreek Seed, Garlic, Ginger
Author: John Thompson

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. Beef sliced into thick strips;
  • 1 large Onion finely chopped;
  • 1 large Red Bell Pepper slivered;
  • 1 – 1½ cups Coconut Water;
  • 2 tbsp. minced Ginger;
  • 2 tbsp. Garlic Paste;
  • 3 tbsp. Chili Paste;
  • 3 tbsp. Butter;
  • Cooking Oil;

Spice Blend

  • 1 ½ tbsp. Coriander seed;
  • 1 tsp. Fenugreek Seed;
  • 1 tsp. Salt;
  • 1 tsp. Black Peppercorns;
  • 3 Cloves;
  • 1 tsp. Turmeric.

Instructions

  • Briefly toast the Coriander Seed, Fenugreek Seed and the Cloves in a dry pan and then grind all the spice blend ingredients together into a powder.
  • Mix the spice powder into the Beef along with a Tablespoon of Oil and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.
  • When ready to cook, quickly brown the Beef over medium heat and remove it to a bowl for the moment.
  • Add the butter to the pot and sauté the onions and ginger, deglazing the bottom with a splash or two of water as you stir.
  • When the onions are nicely golden colored, turn up the heat to a moderate high and add the peppers, garlic and chili paste.
  • Add the Beef back in to the pot along with any cooking juices thrown off and then add the Coconut Water.
  • Allow the pot to bubble for a minute or two and then turn down the heat and simmer everything until the liquid has reduce to a thick, rich sauce.
  • Serve right away, or allow the pot too cool and refrigerate everything overnight to allow the flavors to develop more fully.

Comments, questions or suggestions most welcome!