Red Curry Paste Braised Beef Short Rib Taco with Pineapple Nam Prik Relish

Pineapple spicy relish and red curry paste turn beef short ribs into something incredible.

March 23, 2017


Nam Prik Relish
Blacken the long green chillies over a gas flame using tongs. Set aside and allow to cool. Remove some of the blackened skin (not all as you want to have a smoky flavour) and the seeds from the chillies.

Pound the green chillies, green bird’s-eye chillies and garlic with a pinch of sea salt in a pestle and mortar until smooth. Add the pineapple and the lime juice, fish sauce and caster sugar. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Set aside.

Red Curry Paste
Make the red curry paste in a pestle and mortar by pounding the ingredients together until a smooth paste is achieved. Alternatively blitz the ingredients together in a food processor using a little water to achieve a smooth paste.

Beef Short Ribs
Preheat the oven to 160ºC (300ºF / Gas 2). Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy-based ovenproof pan over a medium to high heat. Add the curry paste and fry, stirring constantly, until the oil separates and rises to the surface. Add half of both the palm sugar and fish sauce and cook into the paste until incorporated, about 15-30 seconds. Taste a small amount of the paste again and adjust the seasoning: the paste should taste spicy, salty and slightly sweet. Add the coconut milk and chicken stock to the paste and bring to the boil, then immediately reduce to a gentle simmer.

Add the beef short-rib to the pan (it should be mostly, if not completely, covered in the liquid). Cover with a lid and transfer to the oven for 2 hours. The short-rib should be completely tender with the meat falling off the bone. Remove the short-rib from the pan and allow to rest.

Return the pan to the stove and reduce the red curry cooking liquor by a third. Reduce the heat to a low simmer. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning with the remaining palm sugar and fish sauce to suit the flavor combination you want to achieve. Then, using forks, shred the beef short-rib into fibers and return to the reduced red curry cooking liquor to keep warm.

Assemble the Tacos
Warm the rice flour tortillas in the oven for 2–3 minutes. Serve by spooning the shredded beef into tortillas with a little red curry cooking liquor spooned over. Top with the pineapple nam prik relish and garnish with finely shredded kaffir lime leaves (the finer the better) and coriander stalks.

About this recipe

Recipe by John Chantarasak in breddos Tacos by Nud Dudhia and Chris Whitney, Quadrille Publishing, 2017. Photo: Kris Kirkham. Buy breddos Tacos at Amazon.

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For the Nam Prik
  • 2 long green chillies
  • 2-3 green bird’s-eye chillies
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • sea salt
  • 2oz pineapple, diced
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar
For the Red Curry Paste
  • a pinch of salt
  • 7 long red dried Thai chillies, seeds removed, soaked in cold water for 15-20 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped galangal
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped lemongrass, outer layers removed
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped coriander (cilantro) root, cleaned and scraped
  • 3 tablespoons diced Thai red shallot or banana shallot
  • 3 tablespoons diced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 ¾ cups coconut milk, fresh or tinned with at least 70% coconut content
  • 1 ¾ cups chicken stock
  • 1lb 2oz beef short-rib, sinew removed
  • 8 rice flour tortillas
  • fresh kaffir lime leaves, very finely shredded
  • coriander (cilantro) stalks (to garnish)
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