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2 pounds boneless short ribs trimmed, or a 3-pound chuck roast *see note above
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons Thai red curry paste, divided
1 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
4 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 Thai red Chile (optional), chopped (seeds removed or not depending on how hot you like it)
6 Kaffir lime leaves, middle vein removed and sliced very thin **see note above
1/3 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts, chopped fine
1 cup dry white rice (2 cups once cooked)
Cut the beef into small half-inch to 1-inch sized pieces. Place them into a medium to large sauce pan, cover with about an inch of water and bring to a boil. Cover, lower to a simmer and simmer slowly. If using boneless short ribs, cook 60-75 minutes until fall apart tender. If using chuck, cook for 30-45 minutes more until tender, adding a little more water if needed. Once cooked, discard water and hold beef for next step after rice. (Full disclosure: Jack couldn’t bear discarding the beef water, so he cooked it down and made some beef broth for lunch!)
Begin preparing the rice. (The beef should be done cooking right about the same time as the rice.)
In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, add oil and once shimmering, add 2 tablespoons curry paste. Cook for 5-8 minutes until the paste turns dark red, almost brown.
Add coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, and the Thai chile if using. Add two more tablespoons curry paste along with cooked beef and mix to combine.
Bring to a rapid simmer, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens and is reduced by half, about 12-15 minutes. Oil will start to appear on top, which is what you want.
Add the sliced lime leaves and simmer for 1-2 more minutes until fragrant.
Transfer to a serving bowl or platter and sprinkle on the chopped peanuts along with a few more finely sliced lime leaves. Serve with white rice.
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