Thai Red Beef Curry – Slow Cooked with Pumpkin or Stir Fry with Vegetables

Thai Red Beef Curry – Slow Cooked with Pumpkin or Stir Fry with Vegetables

I LOVE Thai red beef curry and I love that I can do it a number of ways – with a quick cook stir fry or a simmered pot, depending on the time I have available.  Having enjoyed several different versions in the last few weeks, it’s on my mind, so I thought I’d share it with you.

Slow simmered with pumpkin is really lovely and it leaves me really satisfied with the sweetness of the pumpkin along with the beef.  Then I also love to do a quicker version, into which I can throw lots of vegetables. It’s a beautiful bowl of colour and of flavour.

I’ve spoken before about when we consume protein, it’s also great to have some non-grain and even simple carbohydrates with it, that give immediate energy to the body, which can then be used by the body to digest the beef protein. The pumpkin fits the bill nicely here and I find I’m not reaching for a piece of dark chocolate after this meal, as the body’s need for quick energy to help digest the beef is provided by the pumpkin. (For those interested in the benefits of pairing protein with simple sugars, you can read more about that here). The ‘no want for chocolate’ after dinner is my guide for listening to my brain and gut to say – ‘I’m completely satisfied thanks Kirrily’.

I virtually always cook from scratch, but the red curry paste is something I do buy.  I choose one with just the herbs, spices and oil (no flavours, preservatives, etc).

You can add extra chilli if you like a really hot curry. (As an aside, chillies are so easy to grow (they fruit abundantly and no insects seem to attack them). I have stored them for the off season by both freezing them and by drying them).

You will see that I’ve suggested a number of different beef cuts from our hampers that one can use for these recipes.

So let’s get currying!


Thai Red Beef Curry with Stir Fry Vegetables

This recipe uses a rump or topside – thinly sliced across the grain.

  • 1 pack (about 700g) rump or topside steak cut into thin strips (you could also do blade cut off the bone and cut into strips)
  • Olive or coconut oil
  • 2 ½ tablespoons thai red curry paste
  • 1 large carrot – julienned or cut into think sticks
  • 1 large red onion – cut into thin wedges, which break apart
  • 1 red capsicum – cut into thin strips
  • 200g green beans – ends trimmed and cut in half for short lengths
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf – diced finely
  • 1 1/4 cups coconut cream
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • Extra chilli if you like your curry hot – fresh or dried.
  • Coriander and boiled jasmine rice to serve


Slice the beef into thin strips across the grain.

Place a pan on a medium to high heat on the stovetop.  Add some oil and the curry paste – cook briefly until fragrant. Add the beef and stir fry quickly until browned and cooked almost to your liking.

Remove from the pan.

Add the carrots, onion, beans and capsicum. Stir fry for a couple of minutes, until slightly softened, but not cooked.  You may need to add a dash of water to the pan during this, so that the remaining paste does not burn).

Add the coconut milk along with the beef stock, sugar, fish sauce and kaffir lime leaf. Bring to a simmer until the vegetables are nearly cooked.  Return the beef to the pan and simmer until beef warmed and vegetables cooked, but still firm.  Season to taste with sea salt.

(Make sure you only add the beef back in briefly at the end. This will prevent the fibres in the stir fried beef strips shortening up when in the sauce, which will ensure the best soft eating!)

Serve with steamed jasmine rice and garnish with coriander.  (Of course be creative with whatever vegetables you like or need to use up.  Cut zucchini into thick half rounds, broccoli florets, etc).


Thai Red Beef Curry – Slow Cooked with Pumpkin

  • Around 700g of any of the slow cooking beef cuts diced – chuck, round, blade or choose rump for a quicker cook.
  • Olive or coconut oil
  • 2 ½ tablespoons thai red curry paste
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • ¾ cup beef stock
  • 500g Butternut pumpkin – cubed
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • Chopped or torn basil leaves


Heat a pot or pan over a medium to high heat on the stovetop.  Add the oil and red curry paste; cook briefly until fragrant.  Add the beef pieces and cook until browned (throw the bone in too if you’ve cut blade steak off the bone).

Add the beef stock and coconut cream. Bring to a simmer and cook until beef is nearly tender (1 hour 20 minutes for the slow cooked cuts or 20 minutes for the rump).  Add the pumpkin and kaffir lime leaves and simmer until the pumpkin and meat are both tender – around 20 minutes.

Stir through torn or chopped basil leaves and serve with steamed jasmine rice and a side of green beans, gai larn, bok choy or broccoli.


Both these recipes are great and you can mix and match them too.  Slow cook your beef and then throw in the vegetables from the quick recipe. Great for using up any collection of vegetables and preventing waste.

Both recipes serve 4-6 depending on serving size.

Happy currying, Kirrily.