You need to let this cook a long time to reach its optimum level of sticky, dark richness.
2 red onions, roughly chopped
5 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tbsp grated ginger
6 large, red chillies, 3 deseeded and roughly chopped, 3 roughly chopped
3 lemongrass stalks, white part only, roughlychopped
3 tbsp light-flavoured oil
2 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp ground coriander
2 tsp turmeric
2kg stewing steak, diced
400ml tin coconut milk
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tbsp tamarind paste or lime juice
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
1. Place onion, garlic, ginger, chillies and lemongrass in a food processor and pulse to a paste. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Add the paste and the cumin, coriander and turmeric and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes until fragrant.
2. Add the stewing steak and cook over high heat for 4-5 minutes until the beef is just sealed. Add the coconut milk, 400ml water, cinnamon sticks, tamarind paste, salt and sugar and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 2-2 ½ hours, stirring occasionally, or until the meat starts to break up and most of the liquid evaporates.
3. Serve with steamed rice and steamed Asian greens.