Lamb Massaman Curry

September 20, 2016 5 Comments

Lamb Massaman Curry Serving Presentation

See also Beef Massaman.  
Lamb massaman curry is a truly luxurious dish. Lamb Shanks cooked in a massaman sauce become meltingly tender and the spices blend so harmoniously with the lamb it truly is a perfect match. This is an oven cooked dish requiring around 3 hours cooking time. If you are thinking of using a slow cooker, then please check out this link as the recipe would need to be adapted. This is not an everyday curry so personally, I would stick with the oven for best results.

For 2 lamb shanks I'm using one pouch of massaman paste, 1 can of coconut milk and around 200g of small potatoes. A small handful of peanuts, you can either shell them or if you only have salted peanuts you can rinse off the salt and leave to dry on kitchen towels. Of course if you have raw peanuts you can pan roast them for a few minutes. You will also need an onion if you want to garnish it as in the above picture. The pastes are complete but it is always a good idea to have a little lime juice to hand to adjust sweetness, if needed, to your personal taste at the end of cooking. You also adjust saltiness by adding a little more fish sauce or salt if required.

Make sure you’re using the “right” type of coconut milk as it will make or break this or any other coconut based curry. Quick guide here, Coconut Milk Summary or if you would like to see the difference between different brands of coconut milk the full article is here, Cooking Thai Curry with Coconut Milk. 

Lamb Massaman Ingredients
Don't peel the potatoes. Just wash and rub dry.Halve them and cook in vegetable oil until nicely browned. Remove and set aside.
Saute Potatoes
Fry the thinly sliced onion (if using) and drain and dry on kitchen paper.
Saute Onions
Add the lamb shanks to the oil and cook on all sides until nicely browned.
Brown-Lamb-Shanks-in-Pan

Place lamb shanks in casserole and surround with the potatoes, some of the fried onion and peanuts.
Saute-potato-and-onion-in-pot
Heat the massaman sauce in a pan and add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer.
Simmer sauce
Pour onto the lamb and potatoes.
Pour-sauce-onto-potatoes-web
Top up with water if needed until the meat and potatoes are covered. 
Lamb-Massaman-add-waterCover and cook for around 3 hours at 150C. Check on it around halfway to make sure the liquid is not evaporating too fast which can happen if the casserole lid is not a good fit. At the end of cooking time check meat is tender, also that the potatoes are cooked correctly, if not then put back in oven for another 30 minutes. Stir the pan to mix in any oil that may have separated or skim off some oil if there is too much. Let the lamb rest in the covered casserole pot for 10 minutes before serving. Note, this can be cooked on the hob under a very low heat but you will have to check and stir from time to time to prevent sticking. I find that the oven works better for me. 
Lamb-Massaman-Serving-Presentation-2

Enjoy!

If you like this recipe please click the star rating or add a comment below!  Kop Khun Kha, Nitsa.x
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5 Responses

Mark G
Mark G

November 28, 2022

It’s good to give feedback.l’m a bit of a regular on these pastes.I think I’ve cooked with them all.Beware the Jungle curry!.Did massaman with roast potatoes yesterday, 2 sachets to 2 pounds of shin cooked in a slow cooker( not roasties, did them separately).Can’t recommend too much.I used to buy all the ingredients separately but the cost and time to source, was often prohibitley expensive.

Tony Holden
Tony Holden

November 25, 2022

Just tried the Massaman spices with lamb shank.
Very disappointed , not with the spices as such but far too sweet. I’m surprised (notwithstanding tradition) that you use so much palm sugar nowadays. The sweetness masked the spices and we added 2 limes and half a tablespoon of nam pla to try and counter the sweetness.
Tried your coconut milk recommendation (via Amazon) and it is very good, but the richness made the sweet sauce even worse.
Sorry but would love to try a version with less palm sugar or revert to making my own.

Gina Dean
Gina Dean

March 25, 2019

Thank you so much. I first experienced this Massaman Lamb Shank at a Giggling Squid restaurant and then at Patara in Soho, the latter being particularly heavy on the purse! Subsequent attempts to recreate this dish at home were a dismal failure, I tried making my own paste, not great and a lot of effort, supermarket pastes awful, really not something I was going to waste lamb in the moment I tasted them. Your paste was a revelation, I had no hesitation the moment I opened the packet and the end result was simply incredible. Going on to try the rest of the pastes I ordered but have to say you have a mountain to climb to beat this!

Nitsa Raymond
Nitsa Raymond

January 23, 2017

Hi Katrina,

I have permanent withdrawal symptoms for Bangkok so join the club! Can’t wait to get back in a couple of months time.
Anyway, I think Massaman would work great with your chicken following the Lamb shank recipe, will cook quite a bit quicker though so would check it after 45 mins or so.
Hope you enjoy it and let us know how it went!
Nitsa

Katrina
Katrina

January 23, 2017

Hi! I’m so happy to have discovered you. I recently returned from Bangkok and have withdrawal for their curries! And now that I found you I promptly bought all of your curry pastes. :)
Quick question. I have half a chicken (bones in) which I’d love to turn into one of your beautiful curries. Can I use it with the Massaman paste instead of lamb? Or, can I follow these instructions but use your yellow curry paste instead?

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