Friday, 24 September 2010

Beef Rendang

This is a Rick Stein recipe from his book Far Eastern Odyssey. There are many versions of Beef Rendang and this is more of a Malaysian 'wetter' version of the Indonesian dry rendang.
 I'd never had Rendang before and have wanted to make it for ages.  It does seem a bit of a faff, but it is worth it as it really is rather very yummy indeedy.
Rendang is a dish which originated from the Minangkabau ethnic group of Indonesia, and is now commonly served across the country.
One of the characteristic foods of Minangkabau culture, it is served at ceremonial occasions and to honor guests.
Also popular in Malaysia and Singapore, rendang is traditionally prepared by the Malay community during festive occasions.

A few things to know before you begin:
You will need a spice grinder to make this or you'll be there till next Christmas and probably still won't have got your spices how you need them. 
I've recently brought this one, which does the trick perfectly. Pop over and have a look at my Video review
You'll also need a food processor.
You also need to get hold of galangal - you can some say use ginger instead although galangal has little of the peppery heat that raw ginger has.

You will also need Tamarind pulp - I got mine is Tesco.
Picture from left to right:
Ginger root, Galangal, Banana shallot
Red Birds Eye Chilli, Kashmiri Chilli, Kaffir Lime Leaves and Lemon Grass.



Start by making the Rendang spice:
100g grated fresh coconut - I had to use unsweetened dessicated coconut
8 dried Kashmiri chillies 
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
225g shallots or onions - roughly chopped
30g garlic - roughly chopped
50g peeled galangal or ginger
6 hot red birds eye chillies - seeded and roughly chopped

How to do it:
Heat a dry, heavy based, frying pan over a medium heat.  Add the coconut and stir for a few minutes until it is richly golden - don't let it burn.
Tip into a food processor and leave to cool.
Meanwhile, put the dried Kashmiri chillies, coriander seeds and cumin seeds into a spice grinder and grind to a fine powder.
Add this to the processor with the rest of the spice paste ingredients and 100ml of water.  Blend to a smooth-ish paste. 
It should look like this!
With that done, we can get on with the Rendang!

To serve 6 you will need:
3 tablespoons of coconut oil - I got mine from an Indian supermarket, but you can use vegetable oil.
1.5kg of chuck steak (braising steak in the UK) - cut into 5-6cm chunks
1 quantity of rendang spice paste - as above
800ml canned coconut milk - don't buy the reduced fat stuff
4 fat lemon grass stalks - bruised - (just bash them lightly)
12 dried kaffir lime leaves - crumbled
2 x 7.5cm cinnamon sticks
125ml Tamarind water - all you do is soak the 60g of pulp in 125ml of hot water and leave for 5 minutes.  Break up the pulp with your fingers and then strain the syrupy mixture through a fine discarding the fibrous material and seeds.
 1 tablespoon of palm sugar (sold as a golden/tan paste) - or you can use brown sugar, palm sugar will taste better in this dish.

How to do it: 
Heat the coconut oil or vegetable oil in a large, heavy based frying pan.  Add the beef and fry briefly until it has changed colour but not browned.  Add the spice paste, coconut milk, lemon grass, lime leaves and cinnamon sticks and 1 and a half teaspoons of salt.
Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, add the tamarind water and leave to simmer, uncovered for 2 and a half hours, stirring occasionally, and more frequently towards the end of cooking, until the beef is tender and the sauce has reduced and thickened.
Remove the lemongrass from the rendang and stir in the palm sugar and season to taste.
Serve straight away with some Jasmine rice

18 comments:

Nina Timm said...

Oh Jan this looks so packed with flavor, I love ginger in food.

bellini valli said...

I agree with Nina, this is packed with flavour. I can't wait for smell-a-vision.

Lucie said...

This looks wonderful - so hearty!

Anne said...

I've been meaning to try this for ages since I got the book and have just bought a spice grinder too (I got the Revel in the end but was torn between it and your Krups one!) so no excuses any more! It really looks delicious and bet it smelt fabulous too!

Nicisme said...

The spice mixture looks great, would love to try that.

AZA said...

This looks very nice indeed.Have you got an idea how to make tamarind water using tamarind paste? Thanks

Jan said...

AZA - I'm really sorry but I've just put your question into Google and it shows 'paste' as being just like what I used minus the seeds. However, if you mean what I think you mean - as in the 'ready to use' kind of paste, then you can't make tamarind water from it.
Sorry I'm not a lot of help :(

cik S said...

Oh my!!

I'm from Malaysia and reading this makes me feel somewhat proud to see a foreigner cooking a local dish & a bit challenged by the fact that even a foreigner can cook this since i only tried once during the Eid haha..I wonder how it tastes.

Thanks for highlighting the history of it, i never knew about it until today.

Hope your Rendang works out well. Perhaps u can even open your own Asian restaurant one day ;)

cik S said...

p/s: you can also try this website for more recipes from Malaysia. Helps me a lot when I was abroad

http://www.malaysianfood.net

As for the tamarind paste Q...i think u can just use the tamarind, squeeze a little, add some water, sugar (or maybe substitute it with lime fora healthier juice). It doesn't have much recipes to follow (like making lemonade)

Malaysians use tamarind with some water to cool off fever, just take some of the tamarind juice (without sugar etc) and put it on the head and our body. Apply until the fever is cooled off.

Jan said...

Hi Cik S - Thank you for your kind words and the tip on tamarind!

AZA said...

Made this today for lunch.It was delicious...have you tried any other Ricks recipes from his last book?

Jan said...

AZA - no I haven't made any other recipes from that book - so many good one just don't have time! Glad you liked this one.
Hope you sorted out the tamarind water thing too.

Erick, Northern Ireland said...

Hi Jan,

Excellent recipe. Made it last weekend and have been ordered to cook it again this weekend. Will try it with chicken. thanks

JaneH said...

Theres shallot on the picture but I cant see any shallot in the recipe???

Jan said...

JaneH - hi thank you for pointing that out (doh)! I've now amended the recipe, they go in the spice paste.

Debs @ DKC said...

This looks so fab, I'm going to have to try it very soon, thanks

pompeypaul25 said...

Hi Jan, Thanks for sharing this recipe. Stumbled across this post (was following the blog anyway) after seeing the Hairy Bikers cook this yesterday on the telly 05/04. Really must have a go at cooking it! As an aside M&S do a redang paste and also a Beef redang curry in a TIN!!! It is really pretty good for a tinned product and spicy hot.

Jan Bennett said...

Hi Paul, Yes I've seen the paste in M&S and the curry in the tin and will give them a go.
This Rick Stein recipe is good, although I'd never had Rendang before so have no idea what it's supposed to taste like! Whatever, Rick Steins recipe is a goodun so give it a go one day.....takes a while but worth the wait!

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