Spice Paste:

  • 2 red onions peeled and roughly chopped
  • 5 gloves of garlic
  • 2 red chilli (I remove the seeds)
  • 2 lemon grass stems, outer leaves removed you just want the tender inner stem
  • 3 tbsp of sunflower oil
  • 2 tablespoons of ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons of ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons of turmeric

For the Beef:

  • 1kg diced beef
  • 2 sweet potatoes cut into chunks (these will cook down to become part of the sauce)
  • 400ml tin coconut milk, rinse out the can with an extra 100mls of water
  • 100g Desiccated coconut
  • Juice of a lime
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 300mls water


Tender beef in a rich sweetly spiced sauce. To brown or not to brown that is the question often asked with regard to meat and the slow cooker.

Traditionally I have always browned meat before I would make a casserole; recently I have skipped the browning step mainly out of curiosity to compare the end result which varied greatly. Some dishes really lacked lustre, depth of flavour and colour when the meat hadn't beef browned off before hand and others worked out remarkably well, this being one of the success stories.

Spice paste:

  1. Blitz the ingredients together in a food processor.


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 150C
  2. Put the paste in a wide heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat and cook, stirring until fragrant 3-4 minute, add in the beef and stir to coat with the spice mix.
  3. Then stir in the sweet potatoes, coconut tinned and desiccated, lime juice, sugar, and salt. Bring to a slow simmer and pop on the lid. Then put in the pre heated oven for 2.5 hours
  4. The beef will be deliciously moist and the sauce just divine, the perfect winter dinner served with brown rice, toasted coconut shavings and lots of fresh coriander.