Beef Rendang


Date Published: Dec 14th, 2021 | Last Updated: Dec 14th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, Asian
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 6 hours

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Beef Rendang is a beef curry that originated from Indonesia and has been widely popularized across southeast Asia. It’s so damn good that it’s considered one of Indonesia’s national dishes! It’s a beef curry that is cooked down over a few hours until it is super tender and the rest of the curry sauce simmers down to an aromatic paste that coats the beef.

I absolutely love the complex flavours of a good beef rendang, however it is very time consuming to make so I recommend either making it the night before or very early morning. Set aside 4-5 hours for this dish. The prep time only takes about 15-20 mins but the time it takes for the beef to tenderize can be up to 3-4 hours. Don’t rush the process. Trust me, it’s worth the wait! The flavours actually taste better the next day once all the spices marinate a bit more, so if you’re serving this for a special occasion, I’d recommend making it the day before – which spares up free time for you for other preparations.

Although there are quite a lot of spices and ingredients in this recipe, the actual process of making it isn’t difficult at all. The amazing results were worth me doubling my spice rack. I picked up most of the ingredients from the local asian supermarket, where I find the spices much cheaper than regular grocery stores.

This version of a beef rendang is adapted from Sarah Tiong’s cookbook Sweet, Savoury, Spicy. I used to make my rendang a much different way that was way more time-consuming, but since stumbling upon her recipe, it has been much easier with fewer steps, spices, and the flavours are just as good! Definitely recommend checking out her book for more awesome recipes.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Paste:
    • 4 large red Asian shallots
    • 5 cloves garlic
    • 4cm piece of fresh ginger (or galangal), peeled and sliced
    • 3 stalks of lemon grass (white parts only), finely sliced – you’ll need another 3 later on = 6 total
    • 2 Tbsp of a neutral oil
  • 1/2 cup neutral oil (ie. canola, vegetable…etc.)
  • 650g (~1.5lbs) chuck steak cut into cubes
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • Rendang Spices:
    • 2 cinnamon sticks
    • 4 star anise
    • 6 cardamom pods
    • 8 kaffir lime leaves (fresh or dried), stems removed and thinly sliced
    • 3 stalks of lemongrass, bruised/lightly pounded
  • 1 tsp hot chili powder (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup (240ml) water
  • 1 cup (240ml) full fat coconut cream
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut, toasted
  • Serve with steamed rice or flatbread – or both! Also goes well with sambal.

Directions:

Make the paste by blending together: shallots, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and oil. Blend until a thick paste forms. Set aside.

In a wok, heat the 1/2 cup oil on medium-high heat. While the oil is warming up, dust the beef cubes in the flour. When the oil starts to smoke, sear the beef cubes in batches (careful not to overcrowd the pot – you may need to do this in two batches) until you get a dark brown crust on both sides). Set aside the beef.

Use the remaining oil in the pot to stir-fry the paste (made in step 1) for 5 mins until caramelized and aromatic.

Add the spices to the pot: cinnamon sticks, star anise, cardamom, kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass. Stir-fry for another 3 minutes. Then add in the chilli powder, brown sugar and seared beef cubes. Stir-fry for another 3 minutes.

Add the water, coconut cream and salt to the pot. Reduce the heat to medium and bring it to the simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 15mins.

(Toast the desiccated coconut in this time if you haven’t already.)

After 15mins, add the toasted coconut and stir thoroughly. If everything seems too dry at this time, add 1/4 cup of water at a time and mix. Cover the pot again and reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for 2 hours or more until the beef is “fork-tender” and easy to break down and the liquid has been absorbed. You’ll notice that the curry is a pale brown colour for most of the cook, but once the majority of the sauce cooks down, the oils separate and it becomes a reddish-brown colour. Serve with rice and a good sambal or chilli paste.

Tip: Flavours taste even better the next day!

Summarized Recipe:

Beef Rendang

Date Published: Dec 14th, 2021 | Last Updated: Dec 14th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, Asian
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 6 hours

Ingredients:

  • Paste:
    • 4 large red Asian shallots
    • 5 cloves garlic
    • 4cm piece of fresh ginger (or galangal), peeled and sliced
    • 3 stalks of lemon grass (white parts only), finely sliced – you’ll need another 3 later on = 6 total
    • 2 Tbsp of a neutral oil
  • 1/2 cup neutral oil (ie. canola, vegetable…etc.)
  • 650g (~1.5lbs) chuck steak cut into cubes
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • Rendang Spices:
    • 2 cinnamon sticks
    • 4 star anise
    • 6 cardamom pods
    • 8 kaffir lime leaves (fresh or dried), stems removed and thinly sliced
    • 3 stalks of lemongrass, bruised/lightly pounded
  • 1 tsp hot chili powder (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup (240ml) water
  • 1 cup (240ml) full fat coconut cream
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut, toasted
  • Serve with steamed rice or flatbread – or both! Also goes well with sambal.

Directions:

  1. Make the paste by blending together: shallots, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and oil. Blend until a thick paste forms. Set aside.
  2. In a wok, heat the 1/2 cup oil on medium-high heat. While the oil is warming up, dust the beef cubes in the flour. When the oil starts to smoke, sear the beef cubes in batches (careful not to overcrowd the pot – you may need to do this in two batches) until you get a dark brown crust on both sides). Set aside the beef.
  3. Use the remaining oil in the pot to stir-fry the paste (made in step 1) for 5 mins until caramelized and aromatic.
  4. Add the spices to the pot: cinnamon sticks, star anise, cardamom, kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass. Stir-fry for another 3 minutes.
  5. Add in the chilli powder, brown sugar and seared beef cubes. Stir-fry for another 3 minutes.
  6. Add the water, coconut cream and salt to the pot. Reduce the heat to medium and bring it to the simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 15mins.
  7. (Toast the desiccated coconut in this time if you haven’t already.)
  8. After 15mins, add the toasted coconut and stir thoroughly. If everything seems too dry at this time, add 1/4 cup of water at a time and mix. Cover the pot again and reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for 2 hours or more until the beef is “fork-tender” and easy to break down and the liquid has been absorbed. You’ll notice that the curry is a pale brown colour for most of the cook, but once the majority of the sauce cooks down, the oils separate and it becomes a reddish-brown colour. Serve with rice and a good sambal or chilli paste.
    • Tip: Flavours taste even better the next day!

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