A luscious mild curry with fall-apart beef and bell peppers. We let this easy beef curry cook slowly in the slow cooker. There's just a little up-front prep, then you can leave it to cook to perfection.
I'm using store-bought curry paste to keep this recipe as simple and easy as possible.
Simple ingredients that come together quickly, then we can leave the slow cooker to do its work - all resulting in a rich beef curry.
I love a beef curry, but it's got to be cooked long and slow to make that beef flake and fall apart. The bonus to this, is that we can use casserole steak/beef (braising beef) - which is reasonable inexpensive.
I'm building up my collection of beef curries on the site. We've now got:
- A Lighter Beef Curry - always popular when you're trying to steer clear of the coconut milk and cream
- Massaman Beef Curry - using a homemade curry paste cooked with potatoes too
- Spicy Beef Rendang - with beef that's caramelized on the outside and tender in the middle
This particular curry has all that rich flavour, but is pretty mild, and made simple, using store-bought curry paste.
📋 What do we need?
- Curry paste - I use a shop-bought Tikka Masala curry paste for this recipe - which is usually quite mild. You could also use balti, jalfrezi or rogan josh pastes - which tend to be fairly mild too. If you're after something hotter, use madras or Thai red curry paste. **Be sure to use curry paste, NOT curry sauce. The paste is concentrated - used for the base of a sauce, whereas the sauce is usually a finished version of a curry sauce**.
- Beef - I use fairly inexpensive braising/casserole or stewing steak - often known as chuck steak, which comes from the forequarter. Usually, this consists of parts of the neck, shoulder blade, and upper arm. It’s a tough but very flavourful cut of meat. It has a lot of connective tissue, which needs long slow cooking to break down and become tender.
- Coconut milk - use full fat - which won't split during the cooking process.
- Tinned tomatoes - use finely diced tinned tomatoes, which will result in a thicker sauce (without big chunks of tomato). You can replace with passata if you prefer, but try to go with a thick passata (Mutti makes a good one), rather than anything too runny.
📺 Watch how to make it
Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.
👩🍳PRO TIP If you're serving to people with different spice palates, serve up the mild portions first, then stir in a teaspoon of chilli flakes and serve to the people who like it a little hotter.
🍲 What to try next?
Here are some more fantastic Slow Cooked Beef recipes (some cooked in the slow cooker, some in the oven):
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Slow Cooker Beef Coconut Curry
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil or ghee
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1.5 kg (3.3 pounds) braising beef
- 1 large onion - peeled and chopped
- 2 red bell peppers - deseeded and roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic - peeled and minced
- 2 tsp minced ginger
- 2 heaped tbsp curry paste*
- 1 beef stock cube - crumbled
- 400 g (14 oz) tin finely chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato puree - paste for US
- 2 tsp sugar
- 400 ml (14 oz) tin full fat coconut milk
- 3 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch) mixed with 6 tbsp cold water
- handful of chopped coriander (cilantro)
- pilau or boiled rice
- Preheat your slow cooker to high.
- Season the beef with salt and pepper.½ tsp salt, 1.5 kg (3.3 pounds) braising beef, ½ tsp black pepper
- Heat 1 ½ tbsp of the oil in a large pan over a high heat.2 tbsp sunflower oil or ghee
- Add the seasoned beef to the pan. Sear until lightly browned (about 6-8 minutes). You may need to do this in two batches.
- Once seared, add the beef to the slow cooker, using a slotted spoon.
- Add the remaining ½ tbsp of oil to the pan and turn the heat down to medium.
- Add in the onion and red pepper and cook for 4-5 minutes, until the onions have softened.1 large onion, 2 red bell peppers
- Add in the garlic, ginger, curry paste, and crumbled stock cube. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.4 cloves garlic, 2 tsp minced ginger, 2 heaped tbsp curry paste*, 1 beef stock cube
- Add in the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, sugar, and coconut milk.400 g (14 oz) tin finely chopped tomatoes, 2 tbsp tomato puree, 2 tsp sugar, 400 ml (14 oz) tin full fat coconut milk
- Stir, bring to the boil, then pour into your slow cooker, stir once more, place your slow cooker lid on and cook for 5-6 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low.
- If you want to thicken the sauce a little, slowly pour in the cornstarch and water mixture whilst stirring - until the sauce is thick enough.3 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch) mixed with 6 tbsp cold water
- Serve over rice, sprinkled with some coriander (cilantro). I like to serve mine with some naan and tomato and onion salad too.handful of chopped coriander (cilantro), pilau or boiled rice, naan
Check every hour or so to ensure the sauce isn't running dry. Top up with a splash of boiling water if it's starting to look dry. Can I make it ahead? Yes, this recipe can be made ahead, then cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat in a pan, over a medium heat, stirring occasionally (be careful not to break up the beef too much), until piping hot throughout. Can I freeze it? Yes, make the recipe, then cool, cover and freeze.
Defrost overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat, as per the make-ahead instructions above. Ingredient swaps
- Swap the Tikka Masala curry paste for your favourite curry paste. Jalfrezi, Madras, Balti and Thai Red curry paste all work well.
- Add in extra vegetables. Mushrooms, courgette (zucchini) and baby new potatoes can all go in when you add everything to the slow cooker. Broccoli and green beans can be added in for the last 30-45 minutes of cooking, and baby spinach can be stirred in right at the end.
- Don't want to use coconut milk? replace the 400ml (14 floz) coconut milk with 160ml (⅔ cup) beef stock plus 120ml (½ cup) double (heavy) cream.
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