Thai Red Curry Beef

This Thai red curry beef is so delicious! Cubed bottom roasted is browned and simmered in a red curry coconut broth until it reaches tender amazingness!

This is a one-pot gem of a recipe that has a special spot in my recipe repertoire.

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Thai red curry beef is just a simple stew of sorts that isn’t gussied up with a ton of different vegetables, which I LOVE, and the sauce couldn’t be any more scrumptious. The red curry sauce is built layer by layer starting with the caramelized browned bits from browning the cubed roast, then in goes the always trusty onion-garlic combination and after that it’s the red curry paste, coconut milk and so on. This bowl of goodness is nothing short of amazing.

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So I hate to do it but I have to break the bad news to you… this is not a 3o-minute meal. You will also have to endure significant torture of inhaling its intoxicating aroma as it bubbles away on the stove for hours, only to store it in the fridge overnight. I’ll explain more on that a little later. The good news? There isn’t a long list of ingredients and it’s pretty darn easy to whip up. And I kid you not; I feasted on this for lunch for several days afterwards and it tasted better and better each day.

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The more prep you get done and out of the way the better. So start this party off with dicing up 1 heaping cup of yellow onions.

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Mince the heck out of 4 cloves of fresh garlic.

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Measure a heaping quarter cup of Thai red curry paste…

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Two tablespoons fish sauce…

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Then you’ll also need the juice of a big fat lime or 2 tablespoons.

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Two tablespoons of dark brown sugar…

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And two cans of coconut milk; one light and one regular. Lots of two’s in this recipe.

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Once all that chopping, measuring and prep work is done and out of the way it’s time to work on the roast. I took this 2-1/2 pound bottom round roast out of the fridge about 30 minutes prior.

Why bottom round? Well I’ve become friends with the employees at my grocery store and well, once I asked the butcher “what’s the best meat for cooking in stews for long periods of time?”… he told me bottom round. He’s right on.

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Cut it width-wise into 1 inch hunks…

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Pull the thin layer of fat off each piece…

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… then cut the roast into 1 inch cubes.

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Toss into a bowl with 3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt and coarse black pepper.

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Toss to coat evenly.

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Add 1 tablespoon of light olive oil into a large Dutch oven and heat over medium-high.

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Working in batches sear all sides of the beef for 2 to 3 minutes…

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…or until beautifully browned.

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Transfer the glorious beef to a clean dish and repeat until the entire bowl of cubed roast has been browned.

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To the remaining fat in the pot, add the diced onion.

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Cook for 5-6 minutes or until the onions are soft.

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Add in the fresh garlic and cook for a minute.

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Add in the red curry paste…

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Stir it into the onions, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot and cooking until fragrant.

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Pour in the light coconut milk…

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…then the regular coconut milk…

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Lastly pour in the fish sauce…

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…lime juice…

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…and brown sugar.

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Stir, add the browned roast back in, bring to a bubble and reduce the heat to low…

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Cover and simmer for 2-1/2 hours or until the beef is fork tender.

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Once the Thai beef curry is cooked, pour it into a heat-safe container. Use a large spoon and skim 90 percent of the fat off of the top. Cover and refrigerate overnight. I know this seems like such a pain… but the ingredients in the sauce with meld even more so, intensifying and making it even more luscious.

What IF by some reason you cannot wait? Add in the drained bamboo shoots, kill the heat… allowing the sauce to cool a bit so the sauce will thicken and also so you are able to skim off the fat that rises to the top. It’s still tasty, but I prefer to wait until the next day where it is positively to die for.

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Reheat in a large saucepan until bubbly and serve the Thai Red Curry Beef over jasmine rice with torn fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

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I have no words to express how unbelievably delicious this Thai Red Curry Beef  is. I ate this by the forkful, scooped some onto homemade naan and devoured it. Maybe I moaned and sighed (out loud) with joy after every single scrumptious bite. Maybe.

There is no doubt in my mind that you will love this dish too.


Enjoy! And if you give this Thai Red Curry Beef recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

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My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance!

Yield: 4 to 6

Thai Red Curry Beef

Thai Red Curry Beef
Cubed bottom roasted is browned and simmered in a red curry coconut broth until it reaches amazingness.
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Additional Time 25 minutes
Total Time 3 hours


  • 2-1/2 pound bottom round roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup (heaping) finely diced yellow onion
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/4 (heaping) cup Thai red curry paste
  • 1 (15 ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 1 (15 ounce) can regular unsweetened coconut Milk
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • juice of 1 lime (or about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 (8 ounce) can bamboo shoots, drained


  1. In a large bowl toss the cubed bottom round roast with salt and pepper.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches, sear the cubed roast pieces on all sides, adding more olive oil if needed. Transfer browned beef to a clean dish and repeat with the remaining pieces.
  3. Add the onions to the remaining fat in the pot and cook for 5 to 6 minutes until soft. Add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the red curry paste, stir and scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot.
  4. Pour in both cans of coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice and brown sugar. Add the beef back in, stir and bring to a bubble. Cover, leaving the lid cracked a bit, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2-1/2 hours.
  5. Carefully transfer the red curry beef to a heat-safe container. Skim off 90 percent of the fat and cool before covering and refrigerating over night.
  6. Add the Thai red curry beef and 1 can of drained bamboo shoots to a large sauce pan and reheat over medium heat until hot and bubbly.
  7. Serve over Jasmine rice with torn fresh cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

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20 Responses to “Thai Red Curry Beef”

  1. #
    Liz @ Floating Kitchen — September 25, 2014 at 12:29 am

    Oh my gosh, this looks incredible. Certainly worth the overnight wait!

  2. #
    Terry — September 25, 2014 at 8:52 am

    This recipe sounds amazing!!! I love anything with Thai red curry and coconut milk. I’ve made so many recipes from your site and everything is wonderful. We have very similar tastes, so when I’m trying to think of what to make for dinner I come here. I always find something tasty!!!! Thank you for sharing such well thought out recipes.

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — September 25th, 2014 @ 1:36 pm

      I’m so glad Terry! Thank you for your kind comment and happy cooking!

  3. #
    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence — September 25, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Wow, this looks tasty! I love a good homemade curry.

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — September 25th, 2014 @ 1:36 pm

      Me too! Thank you, Brandon!

  4. #
    Kelly // The Pretty Bee: Cooking & Creating — September 26, 2014 at 8:57 am

    This looks and sounds amazing! We love Indian food so much in our house, and I love that this dish is dairy free – that means I can make it without adapting it! Yay!

  5. #
    E — September 28, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Hi Laurie,

    Tried this last night and will have it for dinner tonight. Can’t wait!!! I’m sure it’ll be awesome like most recipes I’ve tried from your blog are. Plus it’s so awesome to know I got dinner covered, something so rare I need to put it in my calendar! In the past year or so you have become a presence in my house and at my dinners, so thank you so much! Just this morning, I had my family over earlier and we had buttermilk pancakes & your BAT sandwich;))

    Now for a small comment concerning this recipe. As I was cooking the curry last night, I got confused reading the “print” version of the directions (silly me, should have just looked on the blog at the pictures…oh well, didn’t think of it). The confusing part concerns when to add the meat back in the sauce. Maybe you can revisit the part starting with “Add the red curry paste,” til the end and reword just a tiny bit for clarity, in case someone else gets confused when looking only at the print version of the recipe…

    Thanks again!


    • Laurie McNamara replied: — September 28th, 2014 @ 10:25 pm

      Oh I’m so glad E! And thank you for the heads up on the instructions… I’ve made the correction. Enjoy your dinner and thank you for your kind comment!

  6. #
    E — September 28, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Forgot to say I finished it in the oven… as things got crowded on the stove top since I had to make dinner for that night, too. Hopefully that’s ok. Today I’ll just add the bamboo shoots, bring to boil and make fresh rice. Yum, can’t wait!!!

  7. #
    Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures — October 2, 2014 at 8:15 am

    This looks so amazing! It’s kind of like beef stew, but with more exciting flavors!

  8. #
    Mandy T. — October 5, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    We just made this tonight and it was delicious. We did add in a fresh jalapeno from our garden for a bit more kick. We forgot that everything had to sit overnight, so we wound up ordering pizza last night. It was definitely worth the wait though!

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — October 9th, 2014 @ 10:58 am

      I’m so glad! I love the idea of adding jalapeños!

  9. #
    Jessica — October 27, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    I made this over the weekend and it was fantastic! I omitted the bamboo shoots because I did not have any on hand, but added peas just because I love peas and beef. I think next time I will add more chili paste, but overall this was wonderful. I have already given the recipe to three people. Definitely a keeper!!

  10. #
    Cheri — December 18, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Made this for dinner today. The sauce started off very liquidy. I let it simmer with the lid cracked open slightly for 2 1/2 hours. When I opened the lid there was only about 1 cup of sauce left after draining the fat off. Is this about right? Love the combination of flavors and the beef is so very tender. Just wondering if I should have more sauce .

  11. #
    Tracy — March 2, 2015 at 1:16 am

    Had this for dinner tonight. Delicious, Thank you!

  12. #
    Jay — May 4, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    This is an excellent recipe page. Beautiful pictures that make sense chronologically to the preparation. The recipe is well written so that just about anyone can be successful with it. No complex foodie lingo or weird ingredients. I’m impressed.

    Me, I’m a 27+ year veteran chef, so I’m pretty well versed when it comes to cookbooks and recipes. There are so many bad or poorly written/researched recipes out there on the web, that when I see a great one, I have to give props to the author/chef.

    Excellent work here. Thanks for caring. The web needs more people like you.

  13. #
    charlie — November 16, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    In the top part of this recipe it says to use a heaping cup of red Thai curry paste, but in the ingredient list is says a heaping 1/4 cup, can you let me know which is correct?
    Thanks very much!

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — November 16th, 2016 @ 8:10 pm

      Hi Charlie! Sorry about that! It’s a heaping quarter cup. Enjoy!

  14. #
    Jen — January 16, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Haven’t tried this yet, but wondering how much of a difference if I used both cans of light coconut milk?

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — January 25th, 2017 @ 11:01 am

      I’m sure you could, you may be a thinner sauce… but should taste the same. 🙂

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