Thai-style beef bowler

Long, slow cooking makes Mark Sargeant's spicy beef dish melt-in-the-mouth tender
By Mark Sargeant
Thai-style beef bowler
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 750 g beef, bowler/stewing beef, diced
  • seasoned flour, for dusting
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 lemongrass
  • 3 hot chillies, thinly sliced
  • 4 cm piece galangal, sliced into thin matchsticks
  • 4 cm piece ginger, sliced into thin matchsticks
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • small handful coriander, stems with roots, finely chopped
  • 3-4 kaffir lime leaves, crushed
  • 120 g tamarind paste
  • 100 g brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce, (or soy sauce, if you prefer)
  • 500 ml beef stock
  • coconut rice, to serve
  • coriander leaves, to garnish


1. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3.

2. Dust the meat in the seasoned flour. Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan over medium-high heat and brown the beef in batches for 2-3 minutes on each side until crispy and golden brown. Make sure that the beef is well browned to ensure that it does not look grey and unappetising after slow cooking.

3. Arrange the browned beef in a casserole dish, then add the onions, lemongrass, chilli, galangal, ginger, garlic, coriander stems and crushed kaffir lime leaves. Stir in the tamarind paste, brown sugar, fish sauce, stock and 750ml water, then cook in the oven for 3-4 hours, until the meat is meltingly tender.

4. Serve with coconut rice and garnish with coriander leaves.

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