Rick Stein is a bit of a hero of mine. I love the way he simplifies food and uses quality produce to create divine yumminess on a plate! I’ve tweaked it ever so slightly … no sugar or salt 🙂
100g finely grated fresh coconut
4 fat lemon grass stalks, bruised
50g piece tamarind pulp
3 tbsp coconut oil
3 x 5cm cinnamon stick pieces
3 star anise
12 green cardamom pods, lightly bruised
1.5kg lamb rump, cut into 5cm chunks
800ml coconut milk
8 kaffir lime leaves
10 dried red chillies
225g brown onions or shallots, roughly chopped
8 fat garlic cloves, roughly chopped
4 lemon grass stalks, outer leaves discarded and core roughly chopped
For spice paste, put dried chillies in a bowl, cover with boiling water and soak for 30 minutes. Drain well, put into a food processor with remaining paste ingredients and process until smooth.
Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add grated coconut and stir for a few minutes until golden. Remove from pan and cool, then coarsely process in a food processor.
Cut off and discard the top half of each lemon grass stalk. Lightly bruise the remainder with a rolling pin.
Put tamarind pulp into a small bowl and add 125 millilitres of hot water. Work pulp with your fingers until it has broken down and the seeds have been released. Strain through a sieve into another bowl and set aside.
Heat oil in a large, heavy-based pan or flame proof casserole dish over a medium heat. Add cinnamon, star anise, cloves and cardamom and fry gently for two minutes.
Add spice paste and fry for two to three minutes more until mixture smells fragrant.
Add beef, coconut milk, sugar, kaffir lime leaves, toasted coconut, bruised lemon grass stalks, and tamarind water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and leave to simmer uncovered for 2½ to three hours, stirring occasionally, then stir more gently and frequently towards the end of cooking, to prevent it sticking on the base of the pan.
Eventually, the sauce reduces so much it clings to the meat.
Serve in a bowl and sprinkle with fresh coriander leaves.