Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Paleo Curried Thai Beef Lettuce Wraps

We are sandwiched between two snows days here in New England, so I found myself both a) trying to squeeze a ton of errands into one day and b) craving something that would help me channel a tropical island.

I turned to the crock pot, and decided to transform some stew meat into something a little zippy and bright. Thanks to Pinterest I found this tempting dish from Half Baked Harvest for Curried Thai Short Rib Lettuce Wraps with Mango Salsa; it's rare that I make a recipe that only *just* went live on someone else's blog, but that how tempting these wraps looked!

I did modify things a bit, most notably by using the stew meat rather than ribs (Whole Foods had the former on special). I also used coconut aminos and homemade Thai sweet chili sauce, not to mention almond butter for the peanut sauce to finish things off.

My kids have a thing for kiwi, so I incorporated it into my mango salsa (and didn't put jalapeño in their portion).

All in all, this was an easy and tasty dish that really hit the spot as we gear up to get snowed in again. It might seem like it's time-consuming, but I got the meat into the crock pot early, and prepped the salsa and sauce so that at dinnertime I only had to shred the beef, reheat the sauce and plate.

Paleo Curried Thai Beef Lettuce Wraps
adapted from Half Baked Harvest

3 lbs. beef stew meat
2 tbs. olive oil
salt & pepper
4 minced garlic cloves
1/2 cup coconut aminos
1 cup homemade Thai sweet chili sauce
1 tbs. freshly minced ginger
1 tsp. fish sauce

1 ripe mango, peeled & diced
2 kiwis, peeled and diced
juice of 1/2 lime
2 minced green onions
salt, to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 seeded jalapeño, diced

1 can coconut milk
3/4 cup raw almond butter
2 tbs. palm sugar
2 tbs. coconut aminos
1 tsp. red curry paste

butter or iceberg lettuce leaves, for serving
chopped raw cashews

Prep the beef the night before or in the morning. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 1 minute a side, then add to a crock pot.

Add remaining beef ingredients to the crock pot, tossing the meat to mix and evenly coat. Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours (ideally turning the meat once or twice during cooking).

To prepare the salsa, combine all ingredients and taste for seasoning.

For sauce, put all ingredients in a medium sauce pot and heat over medium. Allow it to come to a low boil, stirring often, until the mixture is smooth. Taste for seasoning.

To serve lettuce wraps, remove meat from crock pot and shred with two forks. Serve in lettuce leaves with salsa scattered on top. Drizzle with sauce and a sprinkling of nuts.

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