Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Beef

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Beef - www.afarmgirlsdabbles.comThis is one of my favorite recipes EVER. Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Beef.

My friend Stephanie (local Minnesota foodie extraordinaire, organizer of our active Minnesota food bloggers group, and owner of the blog fresh tart) posted her original braised recipe over three years ago, and I’ve been making it ever since. My printed copy from Stephanie’s site is smudged and splattered and wrinkled and written on, and always stored in a special drawer…all loving indications of a well used recipe here in this house.

I’ve sent my friends and family to fresh tart for Stephanie’s braised version of this recipe more times than I can count. It’s a recipe that I count on, and one that I’ll always make, as I love braising in our Le Creuset French oven. But I’ve had a number of people ask me to give them instructions for a slow cooker method, as they haven’t yet invested in a French oven, or they simply love their slow cookers. So here’s my tried and true slow cooker version that includes some of my own ingredients adjustments, tweaked a bit over the years for my family’s taste buds.

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Beef - www.afarmgirlsdabbles.comIf you love a beef pot roast that falls apart, all tender and incredibly flavorful from hours in a slow cooker, then you must give this recipe a try. The coconut milk lends silky texture. And the green Thai curry paste, one of my most beloved pantry items, lends warm spiced flavor. Together, these two ingredients are the base for a dish that is wonderful beyond words.

There are plenty of fresh veggies in this pot of coconut curry beef, but you could easily add more to amp up your family’s veggie consumption. I love the addition of mushrooms, which I always include in both the braiser and slow cooker versions. I also mix it up occasionally by adding more bell peppers, some thinly sliced carrots, and/or halved fresh pea pods. When I’m needing a little kick, some minced fresh jalapeño is always a fab addition. It’s great every which way you can dream up. You simply can’t go wrong. Change it up to your family’s taste buds…that’s what great cooking is all about!

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Beef

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


  • 1 T. coconut or canola oil
  • 3-1/2 to 4 lbs. beef chuck roast, cut into 6 pieces, trimmed of obvious excess fat
  • kosher salt
  • 1  15-oz. can regular coconut milk (not the light version)
  • 2 T. green Thai curry paste (located in the Asian foods section at the grocery store)
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 2 T. Thai fish sauce
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1" pieces
  • 8 oz. fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T. minced fresh ginger
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 large scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro
  • lime wedges


I own a multicooker that allows me to both brown and slow cook in the same appliance. If you do not have this functionality, start by heating a large heavy pot or French oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle beef pieces fairly generously with salt.  Add oil to the pan. When oil is hot and shimmery, add the beef pieces and brown so that each side has a beautiful browned crust to it. Remove beef to slow cooker and turn heat to the low setting. If you own a multicooker, turn heat to the brown/sauté setting and let it heat up for a minute or two. Add oil. When oil is hot and shimmery, add the beef pieces and brown so that each side has a beautiful browned crust to it. 

To the slow cooker, add the coconut milk, curry paste, lime zest and juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine. Then add onion, bell peppers, mushrooms, garlic, ginger, and black pepper. Stir to coat all of the veggies with the coconut milk mixture. Cover slow cooker and turn heat setting to high. Cook for 4 to 5 hours, or until beef is fork tender and falling apart. Remove beef to a cutting board and pull apart using two forks. Add beef back to the slow cooker. Serve over hot rice, with scallions, cilantro, and lime wedges on the side.


  • Feel free to experiment with your favorite veggies in this dish. To mix it up, I also like to include more bell peppers, thinly sliced carrots, halved fresh pea pods, and minced fresh jalapeño. If you aren't fond of cilantro, try thinly sliced fresh basil, as Stephanie includes in her original braised recipe. Change it up to your family's taste buds...that's what great cooking is all about!
  • For braising preparation instructions using a French oven, please visit the original braised recipe from Stephanie at fresh tart.

Adapted from my friend Stephanie's recipe box on fresh tart, "Beef Braised in Coconut Milk", one of my favorite recipes for braising in my Le Creuset French oven!


43 Responses to “Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Beef”

  1. #
    Lisa @ Garnish with Lemon — January 6, 2014 at 8:17 am

    What a great recipe, Brenda! I am always looking for new crock pot recipes! Tasty twist on this one! Love Stephanie and her recipes, we are so lucky to know her :) Stay warm today!

    • Brenda replied on January 8th, 2014 at 7:43 pm

      Thanks, Lisa. Yes, Stephanie has a way with deliciousness!

  2. #
    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — January 6, 2014 at 8:30 am

    This is my type of recipe in every way!! I know my husband would love it too. Pinning!

    • Brenda replied on January 8th, 2014 at 7:42 pm

      Awesome, thanks! I hope you like it, Liz!

  3. #
    Kristen — January 6, 2014 at 10:41 am

    One of my goals in 2014 is to use my slow cooker more! Love this recipe!

    • Brenda replied on January 8th, 2014 at 7:41 pm

      Thanks, Kristen. We have the same goal. One new slow cooker recipe a week is my aim, at least until spring. Then I’m back to the beloved grill. :)

  4. #
    JulieD — January 6, 2014 at 10:41 am

    This looks sooo good, Brenda!! Love it! Must try it soon!

  5. #
    Shaina — January 6, 2014 at 10:52 am

    This sounds so comforting, Brenda!

  6. #
    Liz — January 6, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Thank you for the nice recipe.

    • Brenda replied on January 8th, 2014 at 7:37 pm

      You’re welcome, Liz!

  7. #
    Nicole Lindstrom| Simply Happenstance — January 6, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    This looks amazing. Love a good crock pot recipe. Can’t wait to try!

    • Brenda replied on January 8th, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      Thanks, Nicole…hope you like it, too!

  8. #
    Anna @ Bashful Bao — January 6, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    I’m always hunting for good slow cooker recipes, and this one looks like a real winner! Definitely love all the flavors going on here and your photos are great!!

    • Brenda replied on January 8th, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      So nice to hear from you again, Anna! If you try this, please come back to let me know what you think.

  9. #
    Sandy @ Reluctant Entertainer — January 6, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    OMGoodness. I want some now! LOL Looks fantastic, Brenda!

    Happy Monday, friend!

    • Brenda replied on January 8th, 2014 at 7:35 pm

      Thank you, Sandy! It’s so good!

  10. #
    Tieghan — January 6, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    This looks too good for words. All of my favorite flavors!!

    • Brenda replied on January 8th, 2014 at 7:34 pm

      Thanks, Tieghan! And in a slow cooker, it’s just too easy and comforting, the perfect way to warm up in this cold.

  11. #
    Megan @ Country Cleaver — January 7, 2014 at 10:46 am

    I love a good curry, I keep a jar of red in my fridge at all times. I need to try a green curry though – it seems silly of me not to have tried it yet! YUM!

    • Brenda replied on January 8th, 2014 at 7:32 pm

      Ever since I tried green curry, I haven’t bought any more of the red! But I should give this a try with the red…it would make this another different dish.

  12. #
    Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel — January 7, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    Can you believe that I’ve never tried curry? Not once! But I am an adventurous eater and am dying to try this dish! Love the touch of coconut — sounds so heart warming and comforting to me!

    • Brenda replied on January 8th, 2014 at 7:31 pm

      No, Hayley, I almost canNOT believe that! The green curry that I linked to is the brand I like. It doesn’t pack any heat, just alot of warm flavors. Please let me know if you try this!

  13. #
    Cheryl — January 7, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    This looks like something I would love to eat!!!

    • Brenda replied on January 8th, 2014 at 7:29 pm

      I’m quite sure of that! ;)

  14. #
    Miss — January 7, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    First off , I love that you made this in the slow cooker. I have never had anything like this, it sounds so fantastic.

    • Brenda replied on January 8th, 2014 at 7:29 pm

      I told myself that the slow cooker is going to get used alot more this winter! If you give this a try, I’d love to know your thoughts. Thanks, Miss!

  15. #
    Carol — January 9, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    Oh, so delicious! I braised mine this time (cold temps call for heating the house with the oven!) using both an arm roast and rolled rump roast I had in the freezer. This recipe worked really well to liven up those drier cuts of meat. I also served it over sautéed cauliflower & broccoli for some additional veggies. Thank you, thank you for sharing.

    This recipe is a keeper for sure!

    • Brenda replied on January 13th, 2014 at 6:24 pm

      I am so happy to know you liked this, Carol! Thanks for coming back to let me know – and Happiest New Year to you and your family! :)

  16. #
    Tahleen — January 10, 2014 at 11:43 am

    I want to try this! I love finding easy and delicious slow cooker recipes, it makes it so much easier to have dinner waiting when I get home at 6:45. Would it be okay to put this on low for longer, or should I just do it for the 5 hours on high and let it switch over to “warm” when it’s done? (My slow cooker is programmable.) Thanks!

    • Brenda replied on January 13th, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      Hi Tahleen – it would definitely be fine to cook this longer on low. Cooking on high for a shorter time just happens to work out better for my schedule most of the time. :)

  17. #
    Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchen — January 10, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Can i just say that I LOVE that this is made in a slow cooker! I really can’t wait to give this a try. I love curry dishes-espically when coconut is involved. I’m definitely pinning this one! :)

    • Brenda replied on January 13th, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      Thank you, Christina – I hope you like it! :)

  18. #
    Skip — February 13, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    This is great. I used little Thai can of Panang curry (I love this stuff), but otherwise it worked perfectly. If you do not have rice it works great with a loaf of french bread.

    • Brenda replied on February 15th, 2014 at 6:07 pm

      So glad you liked it!

  19. #
    Melanie — November 8, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    When I scan the review section of recipes it is so that I can have a review of said recipe. Most of these comments are not reviews – its disappointing as it helps me choose whether I wish to make it based on reviews. The LOL it looks nice comments are not helpful!
    However I have made it and can say its delicious.

    • Brenda replied on November 10th, 2014 at 4:18 pm

      When I’m looking for a new recipe to try, I always read through the comments, too. Thank you so much for coming back to let me know that you liked this!! :)

  20. #
    Angie — January 10, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    I did actually make this tonight, because we love the flavours of coconut and curry, and who doesn’t love a slow-cooker meal? Ultimately, I must confess I was a bit disappointed. I followed the recipe exactly except for four things:
    (1) I added a small can of bamboo shoots, because I love them
    (2) I used red curry instead of green
    (3) I didn’t add the peppers until the last hour of cooking
    (4) I added an additional 1/2 cup of coconut milk at the very end of cooking – I’ll explain why.
    Over the cooking time, everything turned sort of brown and watery. After shredding the beef, it wasn’t soupy, but it did sort of look brown and sludgy and the sauce was watery. This is why I added the extra coconut milk at the end – to try to bring back some creaminess and try to improve the colour a bit. Is it because the beef was cooked in the coconut milk? Or because I used red curry instead of green? Not sure.
    Also, I found that the onions and peppers melted during the cooking process, thereby removing the crispness and colour that veggies offer in a curry. This might have added to the brown sludginess.
    Topped with chopped cilantro and a wedge of lime, we enjoyed eating the curry despite my unappetizing description, as the flavours were quite nite. There is a LOT left over!

    • Brenda replied on January 18th, 2015 at 4:30 pm

      I’m sorry that you were disappointed with this coconut curry beef, Angie. But you made quite a number of changes to my recipe, of which I cannot vouch for. I hope you’ll give it another try – especially to use the green curry paste!

  21. #
    Suzanne — July 16, 2015 at 3:07 am

    Delicious!! Everyone in our family of 7 loved it (ages 5+). Thank you for this terrific recipe!


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