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Curry-Coconut Pot Roast

4-6 Servings

5 hours 1 hour active

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This recipe was inspired by smore, a Sri Lankan braised beef that combines South Asian flavorings with the culinary influence of the Dutch who colonized the country in the 17th century. If your chuck roast is already tied, remove the twine so you can trim off excess fat, then re-tie it with fresh twine. Using coconut oil to sauté the aromatics reinforces the flavor and aroma of the shredded coconut and coconut milk in the sauce. If you have unrefined coconut oil, use it for its richness. Otherwise, regular refined coconut oil works well. Serve with steamed rice or warmed bread or flatbread. And for a little heat and bolder coconut flavor, offer a homemade coconut relish on the side. If you have leftover pot roast, reheat the slices by layering them in a baking dish, spooning on some of the sauce, covering with foil and warming in a 400°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes.




Don't use sweetened coconut, as the added sugar will cause it to scorch; unsweetened coconut will brown lightly without burning. We preferred wide-flake coconut here, as it toasts nicely and infuses the sauce with nutty flavor. If you can find only finely shredded unsweetened coconut, it will work, too, but it won't brown as well.

5 hours

1 hour active


  • 2

    tablespoons coconut oil, preferably unrefined

  • 2

    large yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced


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Erin G.
March 20, 2023
This recipe was SO delicious--I kept sneaking bites of the meat after it was out of the oven and dipping it in the sauce. I followed the recipe as written, mostly. Because of the other comments, I didn't cook my tomatoes until completely dry--I left it with some liquid. The roast I used was also pretty well marbled, so I had tons of liquid at the end. The one question I had about this recipe was that you don't add any salt until you season the sauce at the very end. I was worried about that so I lightly seasoned the tomatoes and the roast at the beginning of the recipe. I'm glad I used a light hand, because any more salt than that and it would have been too salty. The roast came out fall-apart tender, and I loved the curry sauce. I felt like the sauce was unique from other curries I've made before--not Indian nor Thai, but reminiscent of both and so flavorful. This is one of my favorite MS recipes I've made, and we'll do it again.
Walter R.
May 7, 2023
Full-Body Rich!
I’m so grateful for this, thank you! Lime leaves were substituted for lemon grass, and 1/2 amount of cider vinegar for lime juice. Since I had 3-lb roast, I boosted the protein w/smoked almonds in at the beginning. Hating to throw away such sumptuous solids, I kept them in and puréed half the mass to thicken instead of corn starch. I am deeply satisfied with the rich mouth feel and delicate balance of flavors.
Pattie M.

This recipe sounded so good. The only thing I did different is use lemon grass and ginger pastes instead of fresh as that is what I had on hand. I used an enameled dutch oven. The liquid from the diced tomatoes totally dissipated and the solids burned. I added water to the solids before continuing to cook uncovered. The meat was also dry. Any suggestions on what went wrong?

Janelle C.

Hi Pattie,

A couple of things could have gone wrong here. Our Recipe Developer Julia Rackow suggests choosing a fattier cut of beef. You'll want to make sure there is an efficient amount of marbling as it will produce more "meat juices." Also, check that your Dutch oven has no gaps when closed so that no steam escapes.

The Milk Street Team

Pattie M.

I did use a chuck roast but I may have trimmed away too much fat. The last piece of meat I trimmed away fat was a whole packer brisket and I was pretty aggressive on that - which by the way was delicious cooked in a smoker.

kathleen h.

Cut up beef. Dump into pressure cooker. Add ingredients on top....up to cornstarch. High pressure 20minutes. Add coconut milk ( I used thick portion) etc. and then thicken with cornstarch.

Myrna A.

This recipe is a keeper. I used flat chuck roast and did not tie it up. I added a cup of water in the middle of cooking, and only needed two hours total.
Love the flavors... and easy cooking. Milk street never disappoints.