cook's illustrated panang beef curry

2 lbs boneless beef short ribs
2 tbsp avocado oil
could also use coconut oil
2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
or up to 4 tablespoons if needed
1 can coconut milk
4 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 whole Thai red chile
halved lengthwise, optional
6 whole kaffir lime leaves
middle vein removed, sliced thin
1/3 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
chopped fine, see notes
steamed rice
Our two-year-old daughter loves the well-seasoned bits of tender beef from this recipe! Once the beef has been processed and boiled, this recipe comes together in about 30 minutes. We like serving this with Ina Garten's roasted bok choy.
Fill the Dutch oven with water and bring it to a boil. Kick off the rice cooker.
While the water comes to a boil, process the beef. Cut each piece, crosswise, into 3 equal pieces. Then turn each piece on its side and cut it against the grain into 1/4" pieces. Repeat for each rib.
Cook off the first to remove the scum. Add the meat to the pot all at once and bring it to a boil. Simmer over medium for a few minutes. At this time, you'll see any scum rise to the top. Transfer the beef into a raised basket to rinse and drain. Pour out the water and the scum.
Rinse out the pot and fill it with water again. Add the beef and bring it to a boil over high, then drop the heat to low. Cover and cook for 60-75 minutes until the meat is fork-tender.
Transfer the beef into the raised basket to drain. If needed, the beef can be stored in the fridge for 24 hours at this point.
In a 12-inch non-stick skillet, heat the avocado oil over medium until it shimmers. Add the curry paste and cook for 5-8 minutes until the color is brick red. Stir constantly and note that the curry will spit quite at bit, especially at the beginning. Use a splatter guard or just be ready to give the stove top a good cleaning after cooking.
Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, and chile. Stir to combine. Taste the sauce and add up to 2 more tablespoons of curry if needed for spiciness.
Add the drained beef and stir to coat with sauce. Rapidly simmer for 12-15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Sauce should thicken, reduce by about half, and eventually cling to the pieces of meat.
Add kaffir lime leaves and simmer for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
Serve directly out of the skillet or transfer into a serving platter. Sprinkle with peanuts and serve with rice.
source: the May-June 2017 issue of Cook's Illustrated
The neatest, quickest way to chop the peanuts is to transfer them into a Ziplock freezer bag, squeeze out the air, then pound it with a rolling pin. You can use regular Ziplock bags in a pinch, but they might not hold up to the pounding.