This recipe for Thai Lamb Massaman is rich, creamy and full of flavor!
I can’t stress enough how amazing this dish turned out to be – Slow-cooked, melt in your mouth, tender lamb and a creamy sauce that is packed with flavor! Thai Lamb Massaman is a fragrant and filling southern Thai dish. Try it and you will not be disappointed!
All that said, let me share how I came to make this dish…
I do my food shopping online. Here in England, all of the major supermarkets deliver and even in a pinch, you could usually find one that will have a delivery slot the following day. The downside to doing it this way is I have never quite adjusted to the weight conversions and sometimes get things very wrong. This week was no exception!
I love lamb. It’s not something I ate much in the States, but it’s very common here and I quickly fell in love. While doing my food order, I noticed lamb was on sale (it’s expensive meat). The item description said, ‘butcher’s lamb shoulder, on sale from £10.00 a kg (kilograms) to £5.00 a kg’ I picked what I thought was the correct weight from the drop-down box and added it to my shopping basket. The price shown in my basket was £5.00 and I thought I got the deal of the century.
When my order arrived, I was in the middle of something and my husband and I just carried the order in without really looking at anything. After the driver left and we started unpacking, I found the lamb which turned out to be what’s pictured – A slab of lamb with the bones in! As an American, seeing the leg stump nearly made me pass out! What was worse was that they didn’t charge me £5.00 for my butcher’s slab, they charged me £12 (for a cut of meat that basically required a bone saw and surgical gloves)!
After a phone call to the store and receiving a £7.00 refund, my husband and I looked up on youtube, how to butcher a lamb shoulder (is there anything you can’t find on youtube??). Short a bone saw we moved on to de-boning a lamb shoulder. Again, this was of little help to non-butchers and my husband proceeded to wing it with a regular kitchen knife. In the end, we ended up with A LOT of lamb and this was just the first of the many meals we will be using it for!
I love Thai food and Thai Lamb Massaman is something I order at restaurants, but never thought I could make myself. Faced with a huge piece of the leg quarter, my husband and I decided that slow cooking was the best option. He suggested Massaman and I took it as a challenge. We consulted a few recipes and because I am incapable of following a recipe, I came up with my own. It was unbelievably delicious! It was packed with flavor and it was just as good (if not better) than we get from our amazing local Thai restaurant!
Because I don’t expect anyone to have the same enormous cut of meat we did, I have created the recipe using lamb shanks to serve 4, but it can easily be halved or even doubled.
For the Massaman paste:
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 lemongrass stalks, tender part only, finely chopped
- 1 inch /2.5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled, grated
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 8 black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
For the main dish:
- 1 lb /500g small potatoes, peeled
- 8 small yellow onions, peeled & left whole
- 4 Lamb Shanks
- leaves small bunch fresh cilantro/coriander, stalks & finely chopped & separated
- 2 inch /5cm piece fresh root ginger, finely grated
- 2 - 14 ounces fl /400ml cans coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 3 leaves dried kaffir lime
- Preheat oven to 300 f/150 c
For the Massaman paste:
- Fry the onion, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, cumin, coriander, cloves and peppercorns in a dry frying pan for until fragrant (4-5 minutes).
- Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.
- Blend the spices in a food processor, then add the anchovy paste, sugar and oil and blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Heat a large non-stick frying pan and brown the meat until golden brown set aside in a large oven safe dish with the whole peeled potatoes & onions.
- Add the massaman paste, cilantro/coriander stalks and ginger to the frying pan, then fry for a few minutes until fragrant.
- Stir in the coconut milk and bring to a boil.
- Season with the lime & lemon juice, and fish sauce, add the lime leaves, then pour the sauce over the meat, onion and potatoes, cover and bake for 2 hours.
- Serve on rice sprinkled with the chopped cilantro/coriander leaves.