Make this beef brisket massaman curry, then check out our slow cooker beef curry and quick beef curry.


  • 1kg beef brisket
  • 400g tin coconut milk
  • 10cm piece cassia bark
  • 3 star anise
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • a thumb-sized piece ginger, sliced
  • 5 dried red chillies
  • 160ml coconut cream
  • 1 tomato, grated
  • 40g peanuts, roasted
  • 2 lime leaves, torn
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • roasted shallots, (see cook's notes)
  • cooked basmati rice, crispy shallots and fried curry leaves, to serve


  • 6 cloves
  • 3 cardamom
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • a large thumb-sized piece ginger, roughly chopped
  • 100g shallots, roughly chopped
  • 3 stalks lemongrass, chopped
  • 3 lime leaves, shredded
  • 20g peanuts, roasted
  • 15g desiccated coconut, toasted


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Put the brisket into a roasting tray with the coconut milk, cassia bark, star anise, garlic, ginger and dried chillies, cover tightly with foil and cook for 3½ hours until the meat is tender. Remove and chop into pieces.

  • STEP 2

    To make the curry paste, add all of the dry herbs and spices to a spice grinder, or use a pestle and mortar, and grind to a powder. Add this, and the remaining ingredients, to a food processor and blend until smooth.

  • STEP 3

    Gently fry the coconut cream in a frying pan until the oil separates. Add 6 tbsp of the curry paste and fry until fragrant. Add the tomato, 300ml of water, the peanuts and kaffir lime leaves, and simmer for 20 minutes. Season with fish sauce and lime juice. Add the beef, any sticky bits from the roasting tray and the roasted shallots to the curry, and heat through.

  • STEP 4

    Serve with rice, crispy shallots and fried curry leaves.

To make the roasted shallots, roast 200g of small, round, red shallots with 2 tbsp of vegetable oil and a pinch of salt at 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 for 45 minutes until caramelised and soft. Any left-over curry paste will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks (or freeze it). You can buy crispy shallots in large supermarkets.


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