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Beef and Potato Curry with Lemon Grass and Coconut

4 Servings

45 minutes

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Southeast Asian curries combine Indian influences with regional ingredients such as lemon grass and star anise. For this one, we took inspiration from a recipe in “Best of Malaysian Cooking” by Betty Saw, but instead of calling for a long list of spices, we use Indian curry powder as an easy flavor base; sambal oelek, an Indonesian-style chili paste, adds bright heat to the dish. Look for sambal in well-stocked supermarkets and Asian grocery stores; if it’s not available, chili-garlic paste is a good substitute. Serve the curry with lime wedges and jasmine rice.




Don’t forget to trim off any silver skin from the short ribs before slicing. The silver skin is stringy and fibrous unless the meat is cooking for a long time, and if left in place, it will cause the slices of beef to curl during simmering.

45 minutes


  • pounds boneless beef short ribs, trimmed and sliced ⅛ inch thick against the grain

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper


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Deirdre C.

Excellent! Next time I make this I will serve it with rice to soak up every drop of the delicious gravy.

Michael Y.

Will this work with bone-in beef short ribs? Can't find the boneless ones.

Lynn C.

Hi Michael -

Yes, just remove the bone and slice as instructed in the recipe. You will also need to account for the difference in weight between boneless and bone-in. My guess is you may need about 2 1/2- 3 lbs of bone-in ribs to yield 1 1/2 lbs of boneless, but it is highly dependent on the bone to meat ratio of the meat you purchase. Buy a bit extra just to be sure you have enough meat for the meal.

The Milk Street Team

Jennifer B.

Delicious. I used hot curry powder so it was plenty spicy. I found the beef a bit chewy so cooked it a bit longer.

Emily S.

Substituted boneless chicken thighs and it was very good. Definitely needs rice to soak it all up.

Russ H.

We couldn’t find boneless beef short ribs, so we used chuck roast instead. Cut it into two-inch-wide pieces with the grading, put it in the freezer for about 30 minutes, then sliced it thinly against the grain as instructed. It took about 45 minutes to get everything tender. Agree with the need to serve with rice. The sauce is excellent.