Venison massaman curry

Venison massaman curry

Taste of Australia
15 mins
Cooking time
10 mins
Stuart Scott

I cooked this recipe with Sophie Hansen from Mandagery Creek Venison in Orange. It is adapted from one by Martin Boetz, long-time chef at Longrain and now with his own venture, the Cooks Co-op. It was at Longrain, over this dish, that Sophie met her husband, Tim. I was there, too and, as Sophie and I had become close when she worked for me, it was very special to be there.


Quantity Ingredient
1 x 400ml tin coconut cream
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, (optional)
400-500g venison osso buco
1 teaspoon palm sugar
40-60ml fish sauce, to taste
60-100g see method for ingredients, to taste
5 bay leaves
5 cardamon pods, toasted
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2 cm dice
steamed rice, to serve
80g unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped, to serve
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves, coarsely chopped, to serve

Massaman curry paste

Quantity Ingredient
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon shrimp paste, roasted
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 brown onion, chopped
8 large red chillies, seeded and roughly chopped
1 lemongrass stem, trimmed, white part chopped
3cm piece fresh galangal, peeled and chopped


  1. To make the curry paste, blend the coriander, cloves, cinnamon, cumin, shrimp paste and 1 tablespoon or more of cold water until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients, one at a time, blending well after each addition until the mixture forms a thick paste. This makes 125 g.
  2. To make the curry, preheat the oven to 160°C. Place a wok or heavy saucepan over medium–high heat. If the coconut cream has risen to the top of the tin, just add this, otherwise pour in 60 ml coconut milk and cook, stirring constantly for 3–5 minutes, until it separates. If it does not separate, add the optional oil. Add 60 g of the curry paste and fry, stirring constantly until fragrant, for 1–2 minutes.
  3. Add the venison to the paste and brown for 2–3 minutes. Add the remaining coconut milk, reserving 2 tablespoons for garnish later. Increase the heat and bring to the boil. Add the palm sugar, fish sauce, tamarind purée, bay leaves and cardamom pods and return to the boil. If necessary, add 100 ml or so of water to almost cover the venison and keep it moist. Cover and cook in the oven for 1 hour or until the venison is nearly tender. Add the sweet potato, cover and return to the oven for a further hour or until the potato is tender. Serve with steamed rice topped with the chopped roasted peanuts, remaining thick coconut cream and the coriander.


  • A curry like this with coconut milk works fantastically with a shiraz that has been in American oak, as this can give the same coconut character. Try one from the Barossa Valley.

Lyndey’s note

  • Store any excess paste in a clean, airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. Roasting the shrimp paste really brings out the flavour. Simply wrap it in foil and roast in the oven for 5 minutes or toast it in a frying pan.
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