If you love Thai massaman curry, you’re going to be happy about its transformation into a slow cooked beef and rice casserole.
A few weeks ago, I added the Great Jones King Sear to my skillet collection and it should be no surprise to the regulars around here that a rice casserole was the first thing I made in it.
I had a can of opened Massaman curry paste in the fridge, so I took a departure from the usual CRC (chicken and rice casserole) to do something with beef. If you’re not familiar, Massaman curry is a Thai staple, but is fusion in nature.
The warming spices—often a mix of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, cumin—came to Thailand in the 17th century from traders in India and the Middle East. When those spices are combined with ginger, coconut milk and lime juice it is basically my ideal mashup of flavors, especially in the winter months.
Since it has a rich brown broth, I love using beef as the main protein. Instead of the usual potatoes, I substituted cauliflower (as much as I love carbs, potatoes and rice in one casserole just felt like a little much!) and added lots of sautéed cabbage. You can easily throw in some green beans or carrots. Like all my one pan rice casseroles, this one is very versatile.
Sadly, most premade curry pastes are not low FODMAP because they have a little garlic in them, so I didn’t include instructions for how to adapt this recipe. If you’re not too sensitive and don’t mind using the paste, just omit the cauliflower and sub potatoes or carrots. You could also probably find a homemade paste recipe on the web, like I made in this green curry chicken recipe.
One of my favorite things about using cast iron skillets is you can easily brown your protein on the stove, assemble the casserole, and transfer everything to the oven for a long, gentle simmer. The King Sear is a little wider and less deep than my usual ones, and it was perfect for maximizing the amount of crispy rice around the edges. Of course, if you don’t have an oven-proof skillet, just transfer everything to a casserole dish.
If you want to get your hands on any of Great Jones cast iron pans (I have the Dutchess too!) you can use code PHOEBELAPINE15 for 15% off.
Read on for this Beef Thai Massaman Curry inspired rice casserole recipe!
With health and hedonism,
Massaman Curry Beef and Rice Casserole
Unlike my other rice casseroles, this Beef Massaman Curry version involves some cooking stovetop before being transferred to the oven. It’s easiest to make in an ovenproof skillet, but if you don’t have one, just transfer everything to a casserole dish once you’ve sautéed the cabbage.
- Avocado or coconut oil
- 1 pound tri-tip skirt or flank steak, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Sea salt
- 3 cups thinly sliced cabbage from ½ a small head
- 3 tablespoons massaman curry paste
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
- One 14 ounce can full fat coconut milk
- 2 cups cauliflower florets from 1 small head
- 1 green bell pepper thinly sliced
- 1 bunch scallions cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 cup beef chicken stock or water
- 1 cup arborio or bomba rice though any short grain white rice will work
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 cinnamon stick optional
- ¼ cup peanuts roughly chopped
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves
- 1 lime cut into wedges
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Place a large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Add a thin layer of oil and brown the beef, turning once or twice, until it is nicely caramelized. Remove to a plate.
Add the cabbage and sauté over medium heat, scraping up any brown bits from the steak, until soft, 5 minutes.
Stir in the massaman curry paste and ginger. Cook one minute more until fragrant. Whisk in the coconut milk until smooth.
Remove the pan from the heat and carefully fold in the cauliflower, pepper, scallions, stock or water, rice, cinnamon stick (if using), fish sauce and ½ teaspoon salt.
Smooth into an even layer, then nestle the beef in the rice mixture so its submerged in the liquid.
Transfer the skillet to the oven for 45 minutes, or until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the oven, discard the cinnamon stick, and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Serve warm sprinkled with the peanuts and cilantro, and lime wedges on the side.