Massaman Curry Beef Meatballs

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 As a Cordon Bleu-trained chef and host of Hot Thai Kitchen, Pailin “Pai” Chongchitnant combines her love for cooking and her devotion to Thai food to teach AUTHENTIC Thai cooking using REAL ingredients like BEEF!  Adapted from her original recipe which makes larger meatballs, these smaller versions would be great to serve with the Curry Sauce for dipping as an appetizer or in the bowl of sauce with steamed rice for dinner or add cooked meatballs and sauce to a pan of sautéed veggies for a stir-fry dish.

Massaman Curry Beef Meatballs
 
Author:
Serves: approx. 36 meatballs
Ingredients
  • Meatballs
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp (50 g) store-bought massaman curry paste or Semi-homemade version (recipe follows)
  • 1 cup minced onion, about half a large onion
  • 1-1/4 lb (600 g) Lean Ground Beef
  • ½ cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp cooking tamarind or sub 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Massaman Curry Sauce
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tsp palm sugar or light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp cooking tamarind
  • Fish sauce, as needed
  • ¼ cups roasted peanuts, unsalted, roughly chopped
  • Garnish: Julienned red bell pepper (optional)
Instructions
  1. Meatballs: Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a medium sauté pan, bring the coconut milk to a boil over medium high heat. Add curry paste and stir to mix well, then keep cooking until it’s very thick and pasty. Remove half of this mixture and set it aside in a small bowl—this will be used for the sauce.
  2. With the remaining half of the curry paste in the pan, add onion and cook for a few minutes over medium heat until the onions are translucent. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  3. In large mixing bowl, combine beef, bread crumbs, egg, brown sugar, fish sauce, tamarind, and sautéed onion/curry paste mixture; combine well. Line a baking sheet with foil and grease it with oil or non-stick spray. Form approx. meatballs using 1 heaping spoonful (approx. 2 tbsp) of the meat mixture for each and place them on the baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until digital instant-read thermometer measures 160˚F (71˚C) when probe is inserted into several meatballs. While meatballs bake, make the Massaman Curry Sauce.
  5. Massaman Curry Sauce: Return the curry paste you had set aside back into the pan; add the coconut milk, water, sugar and tamarind. Mix well and bring to a boil, and simmer for about 2 minutes. Stir in the peanuts. Taste and add fish sauce to adjust saltiness as needed.
  6. Serve by pouring the sauce into a serving dish and place cooked meatballs top. Garnish with the julienned red pepper and any extra crushed peanuts if desired.
Notes
Semi-Homemade Massaman Curry Paste: Combine 3 tbsp (50g) Thai red curry paste, 1 tsp EACH ground coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and cinnamon, ¼ tsp EACH ground cloves, and cardamom, and ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg.

 

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