Beef Rendang - MY FAVORITE!!
I fell for Beef Rendang after my first taste about 30 years ago at a little warung (small cafe) in Java, and have since eaten it from Northern Malaysia right the way down through Malaysia and Indonesia to Timor. It's a regional recipe, so there are no two dishes that will be EXACTLY the same. It is one of the dishes that always forms part of Masakan Padang, the cuisine of Padang in Sumatra.
A Masakan Padang warung/restaurant is easily identified by the large white china bowls stacked precariously in the window.
Rendang Daging in Indonesian/Malaysian, translates to Dry Beef Stew (rendang) of Beef (daging).
I'm sure there are dozens of recipes available for this dish, but I find this is the one that suits my taste best.
Here's the recipe................
3/4 kg of Blade or Round Steak (Oyster Blade is good, but any beef that
needs longer cooking is OK)
2 Medium Onions roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh ginger
2-4 cloves of garlic
1.5 cups of thick coconut milk
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
2 medium sized fresh red chilis
1 teaspoon of chili flakes (or to taste)
2 teaspoons of ground coriander
6-10 fresh or dried curry leaves (or a couple of daun salam leaves)
1 stem of fresh lemon grass or a few pieces of lemon rind
2 teaspoons of laos powder
1/4 - 1/2 cup of tamarind liquid
2 teaspoons of palm sugar
Cut the beef into 1" cubes
Place the onion, garlic, chilis and ginger in a blender with about half a cup of
Blend until finely chopped and almost smooth
Pour it into a large pot, or wok, with all the remaining ingredients except the tamarind liquid and sugar.
Add the meat and bring to the boil, stirring until the meat has changed color.
Reduce the heat to low, add the tamarind liquid and cook until the gravy is thick. This is a balance of lid off and on to achieve cooked meat, and the right consistency of gravy, and may also require the addition of water. The oil may separate from the gravy.
Add the palm sugar and cook for a further few minutes.
Serve with steamed rice, Bok Choy drizzled with sesame oil and oyster sauce, and prawn chips.
The ingredients may be varied to suit individual tastes, and traditionally the gravy is VERY thick, almost paste like, so if you prefer a more liquid gravy, just add water.