- 6 dried, hot whole red peppers, each about 3 inches long
- 1 pound very lean chuck beef
- ½ cup coarsely chopped shallots
- 1 3-inch length fresh lemon grass, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces, about 2 tablespoons, or use 1 teaspoon lemon grass powder
- 2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
- ⅓ cup corn, peanut or vegetable oil
- ⅔ cup coconut cream or milk
- 7 dried lime leaves, optional, see note
- ¼ cup tamarind liquid or lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ⅓ cup dried shredded desicated coconut
Put peppers in a bowl and add cold water to cover. Let soak an hour or longer or until softened. Drain well. Set aside.
Cut beef into 3/4-inch cubes.
Chop peppers and put them into container of electric blender. Add shallots, fresh lemon grass or lemon grass powder, garlic, ginger and 1/3 cup of water and blend thoroughly.
Heat oil in a wok or skillet and when it is quite hot add chili pepper mixture. Cook, stirring, about 10 seconds and add beef. Add coconut cream or milk and remaining 2/3 cup water. Bring to a boil and cover closely. Let simmer about 20 minutes.
Add lime leaves, tamarind liquid or lemon juice, and sugar.
Put shredded coconut in a skillet and cook, shaking skillet and stirring, until coconut is lightly browned. Add this to beef. Stir and continue cooking about 5 minutes. Cover and continue cooking about 25 minutes.
Uncover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Serve hot with rice.