Slow cooker Thai curry beef takes the pressure off your dinner prep! Simmer all day, and come home to fall-apart-tender beef simmering in creamy coconut milk curry.
My love for Thai food knows no bounds! On rotation: spicy Instant Pot Thai curry, zucchini noodle pad thai, Thai coconut curry soup, and this slow cooker Thai curry beef! I think you can see a trend here: curry is and always will be my obsession when it comes to Thai food.
The best thing about cooking beef in the slow cooker is that it cooks for so long that the tough collagen fibres break down, turning tough cuts of beef into melt-in-your-mouth tender.
This slow cooker Thai curry beef is no exception: not only is the beef insanely tender, but it absorbs delicious coconut curry flavor as it cooks.
Reasons you'll ♡ this slow cooker Thai curry beef
- the beef gets so tender while cooking
- it's simple to prepare and can work for meal prep
- Thai curry is complex and flavorful with contrasting sweet, savory, sour and spicy flavors
Best cuts of beef for this recipe
The long cook time of this recipe makes it a great opportunity to use cheap, tough cuts of beef. I have used stewing beef for the photos, as it is already cut up and this saved on prep time. You could also purchase an outside round or brisket roast and cut them up yourself.
While prepping to cook this Thai beef curry, you will want to trim off as much fat as possible to avoid a fatty coconut curry sauce.
Thai curry components
Thai curry is known for its complex flavor combinations that produce salty, sweet, sour, spicy and umami flavors all in one bite! Despite this, the ingredients list is surprisingly short:
- Thai curry paste- is a blend of Thai ingredients that makes the base of our curry: chili, garlic, lemongrass, galangal, shallot and kaffir lime leaves are just a few of the common ingredients in Thai curry paste. This recipe works great with both red and green curry paste. There are a ton of brand options out there, but my two favorites are Cock Brand and Thai Kitchen
- Fish sauce- gives a punch of umami and slightly salty flavor. There really is no great alternative to fish sauce, though some people say soy sauce can do an OK job if you have a fish allergy.
- Brown sugar- brings balance to the salty flavors in the sauce. I like a sweeter curry, so if you don't, reduce the brown sugar a touch.
- Lime juice- is what brings the sour notes to the sauce, and is added just at the end of cooking, before you serve it
Thai curry paste and fish sauce should be easy to find in the international foods aisle of your grocery store.
Adding the vegetables
While the beef enjoys a nice long cook time, it's important not to overcook the bell peppers. I recommend having them sliced and ready to throw in during the last 1-2 hours of cooking. That way they retain some structure and texture.
Feel free to swap the bell peppers for your favorite vegetables:
- frozen broccoli (during the last 2 hours of cook time)
- bean sprouts can be added when serving
- spinach can be stirred in 5 minutes before serving
- chopped zucchini, cauliflower or broccoli can be added during the last 1-2 hours of cook time
- frozen peas can be added during the last 5 minutes of cook time
More slow cooker dinners
- Slow Cooker Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps
- Honey Lime Shredded Chicken Sandwiches
- Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken Stew
- 7 No Sautee Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes
- Crockpot White Chicken Chili
- 27 oz coconut milk (full fat; 2 cans; 800 mL total)
- 6 tablespoons fish sauce
- ¼ cup Thai curry paste (red or green)
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 lbs stewing beef
1-2 hours before serving
- 8 cups frozen broccoli (or bell peppers, or your favorite vegetable)
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- lime wedges
- Stir together the coconut milk, fish sauce, thai curry paste and brown sugar. Add the stewing beef and toss to coat
- Cook on low for 6 hours
- 2 hours before serving, stir in the frozen broccoli and put the lid back on quickly. Don't stir it in, just leave it on top.
- Continue cooking for another 2 hours.
- Stir in the lime juice and serve.
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