This most comforting of curries comes from the Paleo Power Bowls cookbook, and it’s become a new favorite in our house.
1 pound beef stew meat, no bigger than 1″ pieces or so
4 Tablespoons red curry paste, see notes
3 Tablespoons avocado oil, divided
1/2 small butternut squash, cut into 1” cubes, 4 cups
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
2 (14 oz) cans full-fat coconut milk
2 Tablespoons lime juice or fish sauce, I used both
1/2 Teaspoon ground cardamom
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise pods
1 Tablespoon paprika
1/2 Teaspoon sea salt
3–5 kaffir lime leaves, see notes
2–3 Tablespoons almond or cashew butter, optional, I used cashew butter
Steamed basmati or jasmine rice
Chopped fresh cilantro
Chopped fresh thai or regular basil
Place the beef stew meat in a mixing bowl along with the red curry paste and 2 Tablespoons of the avocado oil. Stir well and allow the meat to marinate at least 15 minutes.
Heat the remaining 1 Tablespoon of avocado oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the meat and brown 2 to 3 minutes, (don’t cook the meat all the way through).
Add the remaining ingredients except the kaffir lime leaves and almond/cashew butter to the pot and stir well. Cover and bring to a full boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for 1 hour. Remove the cover and cook at a simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened. In the last 5 minutes of cooking time, add the kaffir lime leaves or lime zest. When the cooking time is done stir in the optional nut butter for an even thicker, more luscious sauce.
Remove the cinnamon sticks, star anise, and lime leaves and discard.
Serve the curry with steamed rice and fresh herbs. For Whole30 options, try cauliflower rice or butternut noodles.
Every curry paste differs vastly in it’s spice factor, so you can start by adding in half the amount called for. Then after most of the cooking time is done, (1 hour 15 minutes) you can taste to see if you’d like to add more. I use the Mae Ploy brand of curry paste and for some reason the red curry paste is quite a bit hotter than the others, so proceed with caution!
If you’re like me and haven’t seen a fresh lime leaf in a grocery store for ages, try adding in 1 Tablespoon finely grated lime zest instead. It’s not the same, but it’s still good, and adds a depth of flavor that balances with the other spices. Also if you do happen to find lime leaves, they freeze perfectly for your next curry making endeavor.
Keywords: Paleo, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Whole30