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VIDEO: How to Make Beef Rendang

VIDEO: How to Make Beef Rendang

Ali Rosen

Beef Rendang

Zak Pelaccio of Fatty Crab shares the steps to his version of the classic Malaysian dish

Notes

*Note: Assam skin is the skin of the tamarind fruit, and can be purchased online.

**Note: Gula jawa is Indonesian palm sugar. You can also purchase it online. To make the syrup, place the sugar in a small saucepan and set it over low heat. Cook, without stirring, until the sugar melts into syrup. Keep an eye on it to make sure the sugar does not burn.

***Note: Click here to see the recipe for steamed coconut rice.

Ingredients

For the beef

  • 1/2 dried chile
  • 1 Thai chile pepper, stemmed and sliced
  • 1 1/4 galangal, sliced
  • 3 young ginger, sliced
  • 1 turmeric root, sliced
  • 10 lemongrass, sliced
  • 25 short ribs, portioned
  • 1/4 kosher salt
  • 1 assam skin, washed and drained*
  • 16 coconut milk, warmed
  • 16 chicken stock, warmed
  • 1 toasted coconut

For the dang sauce

  • 1 1/2 shallots, sliced
  • 1 1/2 garlic, crushed
  • 1 palm sugar, pounded
  • 1/2 canola oil
  • 13 3/4 coconut milk
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Lime juice, to taste
  • Gula jawa syrup, to taste**
  • Toasted coconut, to taste
  • Kaffir lime leaves, sliced, for garnish
  • Pickled vegetables, for serving
  • Steamed coconut rice, for serving***

Beef rendang is a popular Indonesian/Malaysian curry known for its incredible depth and complexity of flavor, thick sauce and juicy, meltingly tender beef. It’s made by simmering chunks of beef in a fragrant coconut curry bath bolstered with lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, shallots and tamarind for hours until the beef drinks up the sauce and all that’s left is a thick, aromatic coating and caramelized, fall apart tender beef. This beef rendang recipe is best if you can make it to the Asian market, but I’ve also included pantry friendly substitutions to make your life easier. Once you gather your ingredients, this beef rendang recipe is easy and straightforward to make – most of the time is hands-off simmering and you’ll be rewarded with juicy, aromatic, buttery tender beef in your own kitchen. Serve beef rendang over coconut rice and prepare yourself to skip the takeout forever.

Beef rendang may be the king of curries, but every king needs a queen! For some quick, weeknight curry recipes, don’t miss Panang curry, red curry, yellow curry, coconut curry, green curry and mango curry.


Table of contents

Rendang is a highly aromatic, slow cooked coconut based curry with a rich and full bodied flavour. Originating in Indonesia, it has long been considered a Singaporean and Malaysian recipe too, belonging to the Malays.

Beef Rendang is the most popular version of this iconic dish, although it did start life with buffalo meat.

This is one of my most treasured childhood recipes. In the 90s, when galangal was not easy to come by here in the UK, any visits home would always end up with me bringing home a huge tub of rendang made by the family.

Given the amount of spices used and the slow cook method, the original, traditional beef rendang, lasts a week in the fridge, easily. And it kept me happy!


Make the flavor base:

  • If using dried chiles, steep them in hot water until pliable, 5 to 8 minutes then slit and seed them (use gloves). Put the chiles, shallots, garlic, ginger, galangal (if using), and 1/4 cup water in a food processor and process to a coarse purée, about 3 minutes (if using whole dried chiles, you’ll still see little pieces of the skins).

Make the spice blends:

  • In a small bowl, combine the cloves, cardamom pods, star anise, and cinnamon pieces. In a second small bowl, combine the coriander, cumin, fennel, turmeric, and pepper.

Make the rendang:

  • Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a 12-inch skillet or wok over medium-low heat until shimmering hot. Add the whole spice blend and cook, stirring constantly, until the cinnamon sticks unfold (the cardamom may also crack open), 1 to 2 minutes don’t let the spices burn. Add another 2 Tbs. of the oil and the ground spice blend and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture sizzles and becomes fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds more (if the spices stick to the pan, add a little more oil to prevent burning).
  • Add the remaining 1/2 cup oil and the flavor base and cook, stirring, until the purée is an intense reddish-brown, about 10 minutes. Raise the heat to medium, add the beef and cook, stirring, to coat it with the spices, about 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, tamarind concentrate, lime leaves, and lemongrass and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil, about 5 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to low, add the sugar and salt, and simmer, stirring occasionally for the first hour and then more frequently as the stew thickens, until the liquid is very thick and oil appears on its surface, about 1-3/4 hours. The meat will not be fork-tender at this point.
  • Meanwhile, squeeze any excess liquid from the coconut with your hands. In a 10-inch skillet, toast the coconut over low heat, stirring constantly, until golden-brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.
  • Stir the toasted coconut into the stew and then continue stirring until it’s incorporated and much of the liquid is gone, about 15 minutes. Add 1 cup water if you prefer a saucy consistency. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the meat is fork-tender, 20 to 30 minutes more (the oil will start frothing after 15 to 20 minutes).
  • Remove the lemongrass, cinnamon pieces, star anise, and as many cardamom pods and cloves as you can find. Transfer the meat to a serving platter and garnish with the cilantro and lime wedges (if using).

Make Ahead Tips

Beef rendang will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator, but expect it to become drier and more intense as it sits.


Brown Chuck Roast Steak

Wait until the Instant Pot says HOT again.

*Pro Tip: You want the Instant Pot to be as hot as possible to allow for maillard reaction.

Then, pat dry the chuck roast steaks. Season one side generously with salt and black pepper.

Drizzle the inner pot with 1 tbsp olive oil.

*Pro Tip: Ensure to coat the oil over whole bottom of the pot.

Carefully place the seasoned side of chuck steaks in Instant Pot.

Generously season the other side with salt and black pepper.

Brown one side for 7 minutes before flipping over and brown the other side for another 7 minutes.

Remove and set aside in a large container.


Published by Edeline Marta

My name is Edeline Marta Teintang. I was born in Surabaya Indonesia but now living in Sweden. I am married and have 3 beautiful children. I am not a chef, I am just a working mom who loves cook and bake for my family and friends. I am not a pro yet, I am still learning everyday with my cooking and baking. Like Om William Wongso told us “Practise makes you perfect” So do not afraid to fail to create a delicious meal or cake, just keep trying until you achieve it ! View all posts by Edeline Marta

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The main reason I want to share many Indonesian recipes in this blog is, since I live in abroad, and not many people here know much about Indonesian cuisine, I am trying to share my experiences and to inspire them to try and cook more Indonesian food.
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Rendang daging (beef rendang) recipe

O ur Hari Raya (the Muslim festival of Eid) is celebrated with rendang served with lemang (glutinous rice and coconut milk grilled in cut bamboo). It is a time-consuming dish as it involves long simmering, but the result is outstanding. It's heavily infused with lemongrass and rich in coconut flavour.

There are many versions of rendang in Malaysia but I make mine a lot simpler – especially with my 'secret' method of doing kerisik (roasted coconut) which gives rendang its unique taste sensation!

6 tablespoons cooking oil
6 tablespoons blended lemongrass
2 tablespoons blended galangal
1 tablespoon blended onion
1 tablespoon blended garlic
1 tablespoon blended ginger
4 tablespoons dried chilli paste
4 tablespoons tamarind juice
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon dark coconut sugar block, broken into small pieces
100ml water (1st part)
500g beef, topside, cut into thin slices
1 lemongrass (use bottom half and bruised)
4 tablespoons coconut milk
100ml water (2nd part)
4 makrut (aka kaffir) lime leaves
2 tablespoons kerisik (roasted coconut)

Heat up the cooking oil in a saucepan. Add the blended lemongrass and galangal. Cook for 5 minutes until the aroma rises. Next add the blended onion, garlic and ginger.

Cook for a further 5 minutes until it turns brown. Add the blended chilli paste, tamarind juice, white sugar, salt and dark coconut sugar. Cook until the oil separates.

Next add the fresh beef, bruised lemongrass and 1st part water and simmer on a low heat until dry. Once dried, add the coconut milk and 2nd part water and simmer again on a low heat until dry and the oil separates. The simmering in total takes about an hour. This will make the beef tender and give it plenty of time to absorb the rich flavours of the other ingredients.

Finally add the lime leaves and kerisik (roasted coconut) and cook for a further 5 minutes until the kerisik has blended in well. Ready to serve with rice.


Afterthought

Making beef rendang definitely takes some work and patience. That’s why I think it’s always a good idea to make more (double the recipe below) and save some for later. The dish is perfect for meal prep, because it will stay good in the fridge for a couple of days. You can also freeze the leftovers in portion-size containers, then thaw and reheat them later. It’s a method my mom has always loved. She told me to always make a big pot of braised meat and freeze it for later. So when you prepare dinner, the only thing you need is to steam some rice and cook a quick side dish.


Beef rendang curry (rendang daging)

Beef rendang is a classic Indonesian recipe and you get the best results when you make your own curry paste from scratch. It keeps well, so save the leftovers for lunch the next day.

Preparation

Cooking

Skill level

Ingredients

  • cooking oil
  • 1.5 kg beef chuck steak, cut into 4 cm cubes
  • 4 cm piece galangal
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, bruised
  • 1 fresh turmeric leaf
  • 4 makrut lime leaves
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 500 ml coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • sugar and salt, to taste
  • steamed rice, to serve

Spice paste

  • 1 tsp white peppercorns
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp star anise
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 large red Asian shallots
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 cm piece ginger, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 2 cm piece galangal, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 2 cm piece fresh turmeric, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, bruised
  • 5 red chillies, seeds and membranes removed
  • 6 candlenuts (see note)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

  1. To make the spice paste, place whole spices in a large frying pan and shake over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or until they start to pop, release their aroma and turn yellow.
  2. Allow the spices to cool a little, then finely grind in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder. Place the ground spices and remaining spice paste ingredients in a blender, and process until a smooth paste forms, adding a little water if necessary to help blend.
  3. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the spice paste and cook, stirring continuously, for at least 15 minutes, or until mixture has reduced down to a thick paste.
  4. Add the beef, galangal, lemongrass, turmeric leaf, makrut lime leaves and lime juice, and stir to combine well. Gradually add the coconut milk, stirring until well combined and boiling. Reduce heat to as low as possible, cover pan and simmer for 1 hour.
  5. Stir in the tamarind, and sugar and salt to taste. Cook for another 1–2 hours, or until the beef is very tender and sauce is slightly dry and oily.
  6. Serve with steamed rice.

• Candlenuts must be cooked before using, as they are toxic when eaten raw.

The Good Cooks premieres on Thursday 8 November at 8.30pm. The series airs Thursdays at 8.30pm (with an encore on Sundays at 6.30pm) on SBS Food (Channel 33). After they air, episodes will stream at SBS On Demand.


Beef rendang

“Intensely flavourful and rich, this traditional Malay beef rendang is a classic favourite during Eid, when Muslims in Singapore break their fast with a feast. Rendang is a dry curry that originated among the Minangkabau people of West Sumatra and later spread throughout Indonesia, Malaysia and into Singapore.” Adam Liaw, Destination Flavour Singapore

Preparation

Cooking

Skill level

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil or coconut oil
  • 500 g chuck steak, cut into 4 cm cubes
  • 4 cm piece galangal, peeled
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, bruised
  • 1 fresh turmeric leaf, knotted (see Note)
  • 4 makrut lime leaves
  • 500 ml (2 cups) coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp tamarind concentrate
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • steamed rice, to serve

Spice paste

  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp star anise
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 6 green cardamom pods, bruised
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 3 large red Asian shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 cm piece ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 cm piece galangal, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 cm piece fresh turmeric, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, coarsely chopped
  • 5 fresh red chillies, seeds and membrane removed
  • 6 candlenuts, lightly toasted (see Note)
  • 1 tbsp chilli paste

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

To make the spice paste, place the whole spices in a large frying pan and shake over medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until they start to pop and release their aroma. Allow the spices to cool a little, then finely grind in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder. Place the ground spices and all the remaining spice ingredients in a blender and process until a smooth paste forms, adding a little water if necessary to help blend it.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the spice paste and cook, stirring continuously, for at least 15 minutes or until the mixture has reduced right down to a thick paste. Add the beef, galangal, lemongrass, turmeric leaf and makrut lime leaves, and stir to combine well.

Gradually add the coconut milk, stirring until well combined. Reduce the heat to as low as possible, cover the pan and simmer for 1 hour. Stir in the tamarind, sugar and salt, and cook for another 1-2 hours or until the beef is very tender and sauce is slightly dry and oily. Serve with steamed rice.

• Turmeric leaves are large light green leaves which add a distinctive yet subtle flavor when used for wrapping or adding to curries. When added to wet dishes, the leaf is first knotted to help extract the flavour, then removed and discarded before eating. Available fresh or frozen from Asian grocers.

• Named so because of their high oil content, candlenuts impart a creaminess and thickness to curries. These nuts must be cooked before using as they are toxic when eaten raw.

Destination Flavour Singapore airs Thursdays at 8pm on SBS. Visit the program page for more details, recipes and guides.