Top-ranked recipe named "Gaeng Massaman - The Tasty Curry"
From A Passage to Bangkok: Thai Family Style cooking class led by Jay Erisman.
Make ahead note: Massman curry is excellent when made the day before and refrigerated overnight - the flavors will further develop and mellow. Simply reheat gently before serving.
Cook Beef and Vegetalbes
Heat the oil in a 6 quart or larger pot over medium-high heat. Add the beef in batches and brown lightly on all sides, removing meat between batches. Add the onions and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Return beef to pan and add cold water, just enough to cover. Cover and bring to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes.
Add the potatoes and cook another 15 minutes until the potatoes are just tender. Strain out the vegetables and beef and set aside. Reserve liquid and set aside.
Crack Coconut Cream
Skim the thick coconut cream from the cans of coconut milk, about 1 1/2 cups of cream. Reserve the rest of the milk. Place the cream in another soup pot and heat over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cream begins to separate into oil and "curds" - about 7-8 minutes. This separation is called cracking.
Fry curry paste and season
Add the curry paste to the cracked coconut cream and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Season paste with palm sugar, stirring to dissolve. Cook 1-2 minutes to deepen color and flavor of paste. Season with fish sauce and tamarind water.
Finish the Curry
Add the reserved meat and vegetables and then the peanuts. Stir in the rest of the coconut milk and stir well.
Add optional pineapple and add 1/2 cup of the reserved liquid from cooking the meat. May need to add more to get the desired consistency. Cook 4-5 minutes until potatoes are cooked through. Taste the curry and adjust seasoning for salt (fish sauce) and sour (tamarind). Transfer to serving bowl and serve with steamed jasmine rice.
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