Coconut-Braised Beef

Serving size:
 4 Servings


    • 2
    • dried chilies
    • 3 clv
    • garlic (peeled)
    • 1
    • ginger (1 inch piece, peeled and roughly chopped)
    • 1 T
    • chili powder
    • 2
    • limes (zest and juice of both)
    • 2 T
    • grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil)
    • 1 1⁄2 lb
    • beef (preferably chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes)
    • 2 c
    • coconut milk (or use 1 can, about 1 1/2 cups, plus 1/2 cup water)
    • salt
2 hours, 30 minutes
Ready in
2 hours, 30 minutes


When braised, chuck becomes one of the most tender cuts of meats. This recipe has you brown the meat and then cook at a long, gentle simmer in coconut milk. Whatever you do, don't rush the cooking, or the beef will end up chewy. Try serving this over white rice.

Adapted from Mark Bittman's recipe in the New York Times.


Use a food processor to mince the chilies, garlic, ginger, chili powder, and lime juice, or mince everything finely by hand and combine.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet with a lid. Add the minced spice mixture to the hot oil and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and covered with sauce. Pour in the coconut milk, scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook at a very low simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender. Cook for at least one hour, probably closer to two. 

Uncover the skillet and continue to cook until the sauce is caramel-colored and very thick. Stir frequently so that it doesn't brown. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Serve hot, and enjoy! 


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