There are certain foods that just have to be cooked in coconut milk and spiked with chillies. Lamb is one of them. It’s a meat that not every carnivore adores, but those who do, wax rhapsodic when imagining lamb braised slowly alongside coconut milk infused with Thai curry paste. I choose a yellow one for this because it contains lamb-loving turmeric and other warm spices like cinnamon and cloves. This is a curry that must include potatoes and I was happy to toss in three different organic varieties, starring a dark, red-skinned beauty with deep purple flesh. Lots of green herbs should swim through every Thai curry. I always keep a stash of lime leaves in my freezer and wished I had fresh Thai basil to toss in, too. I improvised with half a frozen cube of homemade basil pesto and was happy with the results.
I like to braise this curry slowly in my enamelled, cast iron Cuisinart Dutch oven with a layer of parchment paper tucked over the curry before it is lidded. The parchment paper layer prevents any drop of fragrant moisture from leaving this slow-cooked beauty. Just before serving, I brighten these heavy flavours with tamarind paste, fresh mint and coriander. Cooking time varies depending on the cut of lamb and whether it contains bones or not. Don’t stop braising until the meat is fork tender. Enjoy!
Thai Lamb and Potato Yellow Curry
This is a rich and unctuous curry with lamb swimming in a turmeric-tinged sea of coconut milk and potato chunks.
2 tbsp canola oil
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1/4 cup Thai yellow curry paste
2 jalapeno peppers (seeds included) , chopped
2 lbs boneless lamb shoulder
1 can coconut milk
1 sprig fresh basil or 1 tbsp basil pesto, frozen
3 tbsp fish sauce
6 kaffir lime leaves
5-6 medium organic potatoes, red, yellow and purple, sliced in half, skin on
2 red bell peppers, sliced
¼ cup tamarind paste
¼ cup chopped mint
¼ cup chopped coriander
In a large dutch oven heat oil on high. Cook garlic and onion 2-3 minutes or until softened, add curry paste and stir fry until oil starts to exude from the paste. Add jalapenos and lamb and stir-fry until browned, add coconut milk, basil/pesto, fish sauce, and 6 kaffir lime leaves. Bring to simmer. Cover with parchment and lid and braise in 300 F oven for 1 hr, add potatoes and red bell peppers, cook another hour with parchment and lid or until meat is tender and juicy. Finish with tamarind, mint and coriander.