Kaeng massaman (or musmun means muslim in Thai) or Thai Muslim curry has to be the best known and the most loved Thai curry outside of the land of a thousand smiles. Being placed at the top spot of the world's 50 most delicious foods by CNNGo last year shouldn't come as too much of a surprise to many.
I prefer to use gravy beef (or shin beef) but other cheaper, tougher cuts such as chuck/blade, brisket or oxtail can be used instead, do not attempt to use rump or more expensive cuts as you will end up with tough, fibrous dry meat. Do leave some of the tendons on as they will cook down to sheer deliciousness.
This is by far the most complex and elaborate kaeng to prepare especially if you decide to make your own curry paste as well. However don't be put off by the tasks ahead as your hard work will be rewarded accordingly.
P.S I have previously posted a version using turkey (see kaeng massaman gai ngwong), duck will work equally well but do adjust the cooking time accordingly.
serves 6 to 8 as part of a Thai meal
1.5 kg of gravy beef (meat from the shin)*, cut into chunks, blanched and refreshed
2.5 cups of coconut milk (Ayam brand)
6 shallots, roasted and peeled
1 cup of peanuts, boiled until tender, drained well
3 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large brown onion, peeled and cut into chunks
2 cups of coconut cream (Ayam brand)
3 heaped tbs of massaman curry paste, homemade or shop bought
3 bay leaves
3 brown cardamom, dry roasted
4 cloves, dry roasted
1.5 (round) pieces of palm sugar, crushed
5 tbs of fish sauce
1/4 cup of tamarind concentrate
1/2 tbs of grated mace
6 kamquat, sliced with seeds removed (optional)