An Indonesian street food classic and one of the tastiest dishes on the planet. Chunks of beef gently simmered in coconut milk with lemongrass, galangal, cardamom, cinnamon and lime leaves, the flavour combination is sensational. Unlike many other 'wet' curries, Rendang is cooked until most of the liquid has reduced, concentrating the flavours and making it super tasty.
Traditionally the spice paste is made by pounding the ingredients using a pestle and mortar, it's quite a time consuming process. If you are going to use a ready made paste, make sure it's a good one and our Karimix rendang paste is as good as I've tried. It makes it possible to knock up a quick rendang with very little fuss.
I used some chunks of organic beef shin from our local friend Dide at Moonacre Farm but you can use topside, silverside or chuck steak. Allow yourself about an hour and a half of slow cooking for the beef to become tender and the oils to separate. As the rendang gets towards the end of the cooking, just keep it moving a little so it doesn't stick or burn to the bottom of your pot, your aim here is the cook the curry until it's almost dry. It's traditional to serve some toasted coconut as a garnish, I didn't when I made this one, but feel free to add that in. I did fry some tender stem broccoli with some garlic, added a little water to create steam, then glazed it in the pan with some kecap manis - that's well worth doing.
1. Fry the onions in a heavy pan for around 5 minutes, then add in the garlic and ginger and keep cooking for another 2-3 minutes.
2. Add in the rendang curry paste and cook for another 3-4 minutes before adding in the beef and combining well with the spice paste.
3. Pour in the coconut milk and bring to a gentle simmer. Add in the lime leaves (if using), the soy sauce and simmer the beef for around an hour and a half, stirring every so often to avoid it catching on the bottom.
4. As it cooks, the beef will become tender, the liquid will reduce and eventually the oil will separate - this is what you are looking for. If you are loosing too much liquid and the beef is not tender, add a little water to the pan to loosen.
5. I like to serve the rendang with some plain Basmati rice, a tomato salad, fresh coriander and some pan roasted broccoli. Sprinkle some coconut over the top if you have some at home too. Absolutely delicious.
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