We’ve got just under a week left in our Whole30 challenge, and I’m tired. Generally, I find the first couple of weeks tend to go by pretty quickly. I’m motivated, I have a bunch of recipes I’m excited to try, and I’m eager to see the changes that a Whole30 brings. Then by around week 3, the extra work starts to catch up with me, boredom sets in, and I find myself dragging my feet more on more on meal planning and prep. When that ennui hits, I need to try something a little bit different to keep things interesting.
I make Thai green curry fairly regularly, but I realized it’s been a really long time since we’d had some yummy red curry. If you’d ever wondered about the difference between green and red curry, it’s pretty self-explanatory. Green curry uses green chilies, and red curry uses red chilies. Flavour-wise, I find red curry tends to be a little sweeter and goes especially well with beef.
Yes, you can make your own curry paste, but I personally don’t bother because it’s pretty easy to find high quality curry pastes that are paleo and Whole30 compliant. Mae Ploy curry pastes are widely available and contain only fresh, real ingredients. Whichever one you use, just check the ingredient list to verify it doesn’t contain soy, sugar, MSG, preservatives, or vegetable oils.
I often make curries on the stove, but I love how well they do in the slow cooker too. In fact, slow cooker curries are perfect for the days that Tee goes to karate. She just graduated to the Tiny Tigers class, and she’s really enjoying it! She’s learning the terms and stances, and to my (very) untrained eye she appears to be doing a decent job of copying the moves her sensei is demonstrating.
For sure Tee loves it, but her class is at 5:30 which throws a major wrench into my dinner plans. On nights like these, my slow cooker is my best friend. I have a big 6 quart slow cooker I normally use, but for this recipe I pulled out my mother-in-law’s old crock pot. It was retired a long time ago because it just couldn’t cut it for a family of four, but for this it was just the right size.
Even though it takes an extra dish, I suggest sauteing your curry paste for a minute then thoroughly mixing it into a couple of tablespoons of coconut milk before adding it in the slow cooker with the rest of your coconut milk. Heating the paste beforehand makes it more fragrant, and premixing it with the coconut milk ensures no surprise chunks of curry.
I like to add peas and red pepper partway through the cooking time, about four hours in. That means I can throw the veggies in a few minutes before leaving for karate, and by the time we get home, dinner’s done. Nothing beats opening the door to the mouthwatering smell of a perfectly cooked dinner just waiting to be served!
Slow Cooker Thai Red Curry Beef
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1-2 tablespoons red curry paste according to taste
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk
- 2 pounds of sirloin beef cut into half-inch strips
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce optional
- 2/3 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 red pepper thinly sliced
- Melt coconut oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, add red curry paste and saute for one minute. Add a couple tablespoons of coconut milk and mix paste in until dissolved.
- Add curry mixture, remainder of coconut milk, beef, and fish sauce into slow cooker. Stir well and cover.
- Cook on LOW for 4 hours then add peas and sliced red peppers. Mix in and replace cover.
- Continue cooking on LOW for 2 more hours, for a total cooking time of 6 hours.
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