Long Tan’s Lamb Curry

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You know that episode of “Sex & The City” where Miranda gets upset that the woman at her Chinese delivery knows her order so well she finishes Miranda’s sentence? Well, that may soon happen to me.

Our favorite place to order in from here in Park Slope is Long Tan, a Thai restaurant on 5th Ave. between Union and Berkley. I long ago decided that Long Tan would replace Pongsri as our favorite Park Slope Thai restaurant and now it’s become the place we order in from exclusively.

We should have their number on speed dial. Craig and I each have our two favorite dishes that rotate: Craig rotates between the Pad Thai with shrimp and the Pad Seeu; I rotate between wok-seared Udon Noodles and, of course, the lamb curry.

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The thing about the lamb curry is that it’s a stew: the lamb is braised for hours and it’s infused with the heat from the curry powder and then sweetness from coconut milk. More importantly, this is one of those slow-cooked dishes that foodies often hold up as the kind of thing you can’t get at a fast food restaurant; and here I can get it delivered just by pressing seven numbers.

So I order it. A lot. It’s a perfect winter dish and I’m kind of addicted. I’m sure you could easily make it at home–I’d guess you brown lamb shoulder, add potatoes and pearl onions, curry powder and tumeric perhaps, and then a liquid–maybe beef stock?–and you let it simmer until it’s fork tender. At the end you add coconut milk. That’s my theory.

But if you live in Park Slope and you’re lazy, just do what I do: call Long Tan. Or go there. Their lamb curry is the best.

14 comments

  1. I’m sure if it’s a good Thai restaurant (and it looks like it), that they use freshly made curry paste. This looks like it might use a massaman curry paste because of the color and the characteristic use of potatoes.

  2. I wonder if they brown the lamb with a spice paste and then braise it in coconut milk alone until it’s spoonably tender. There’s a Mark Bittman recipe for a modified beef rendang that calls for that method, and it’s amazing—almost unbearably flavorful.

  3. Yeah, that’s definitely Massaman curry. I doubt they make their paste at the restaurant, as not even Sripriphai makes their own pastes. Massaman curry is a Thai Muslim curry that is different from other thai curries in that it uses dried spices, while most use fresh herbs. It’s also generally sweeter and less spicy than most other curries. I haven’t really found a decent version in New York yet. The good ones i had in Thailand weren’t that brownish color, but rather a very deep red, and had tons of depth of flavor, whereas most of the ones i’ve had here have just been really sweet.

  4. I am in the same situation with an indian and a thai place by my house. However, in my defense with my thai place, it is really tiny and I tip really well… thats a good enough defense, right?

  5. That definitely looks gorgeous, the curries from my local Thai restaurant are all of the soupy variety. I might just pay them a little visit this evening.

  6. Jealous… the Thai restaurant up the street from me is good… but they dont have lamb.

    I love lamb.. but my boyfriend wont touch it and its often a waste to just get it for myself :(/

    Thai restaurant here is interesting… started as a donut shop that a Thai family owned… around lunch you could go in and ask them for some of what they were having… it became popular enough that they now opened a restaurant and serve regularly at the donut shop.

  7. i love lamb curry and had no clue how to make it but i saw a recipe that uses ground lamb. Do you think it’s good? You think i could just substitute some lamb thats not ground?

  8. I much prefer Indian version of lamb curry. May be in vindaloo curry sauce. But for Thai curry I like it with roast duck. Roast duck in red curry is my favorite. Often with chunks of pineapple. Yum!

  9. Long Tan rules. I also loved their duck and sauteed greens. When they first opened my neighbors ended up dancing on the bar?! It’s such a mellow place, I don’t know how that happened.

  10. Long Tan rules! Love the duck, salmon and sauteed greens too. When they first opened, my old neighbors ended up dancing on the bar?! It’s such a mellow place, don’t know how that happened.

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