Beef Rendang Indonesia

This is probably one of the most unphotogenic meals I've ever made. Take my word for it when I say it was tasty.

Not only tasty but it took a heck of a long time. I started it at 9 am and it wasn't finished till about 3:00. I'm not used to cooking low and slow so I had to resist the urge to call it done when it obviously wasn't.

Beef, goat and, if you're not Muslim, pork are proteins reserved for celebration in Malaysia and Indonesia because they're expensive. This dish comes from The Cradle of Flavor and was served to the author at a 3 day wedding ceremony.


Every freakin' pepper I found at the 4 grocery stores I visited was green. I suppose I could have gone to the Mexican grocery store but after a lot of running around I just didn't feel like it.
I used fresh turmeric but dried is fine as I didn't notice an overpowering tumeric flavor. The paste did turn my fingers yellow though.

I served this lemongrass scented coconut rice and pickled cucumbers and carrots.

Beef Rendang
Rendang Daging Sapi
West Sumatra, Indonesia

flavoring paste
1 whole nutmeg, cracked
5 whole cloves
6 shallots coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic coarsely chopped
5-20 fresh red Holland chiles or other long red chiles such as Fresno or cayenne
1 2" piece fresh turmeric peeled and chopped or 1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 2" piece ginger peeled and chopped
1 2" piece galangal chopped
5 candlenuts or unsalted macadamia nuts

2 lbs well marbled boneless beef chuck or bottom round cut into 2 to 2 1/2 inch pieces
2 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
3 thick stalks lemongrass tied into knots (smash with the flat end of a knife to make them pliable)
1 4" piece of cinnamon stick
7 kaffir lime leaves
5 daun salam leaves(optional)
1 tsp salt
1 tbs shredded kaffir lime leaves

Place the nutmeg and cloves in a food processor and grind into a powder. Add the shallots through the candlenuts and pulse until the mixture resembles cooked oatmeal.

Combine the paste and the meat through the salt in a wide skillet or sautee pan. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat and reduce the heat to medium low and simmer at a slow steady bubble stirring every 15-20 minutes.

The coconut milk will cook down and the fat will render and the mixture will become darker and thicker. Continue to simmer until the liquid has reduced by 95 % stirring every 15 minutes. this will take 2-3 hours depending on the pot you use. Test the meat, it should be tender enough to poke with a fork. taste for salt and add more if necessary.

When all the liquid has evaporated reduce the heat to low and allow the meat to brown slowly in rendered fat. Stir every five minutes to prevent burning. Continue to sautee until the beef is the color of roasted coffee beans about 5-10 minutes more.

Remove and discard lemongrass cinnamon and leaves. allow meat to rest 30 minutes before serving. It's even better the next day.

Lemongrass Scented Coconut Rice
Nasi Uduk

2 cups jasmine rice rinsed well
3 stalks lemongrass tied into knots
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 tsp salt

Place all ingredients in a pot with a tight fitting lid. bring to a boil, stirring to prevent scorching. Boil 15 seconds then reduce heat to low and cover pan. Cook 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to steam, covered 10 minutes more(no peeking)
Uncover pot, remove lemongrass and fold rice allowing flavor to permeate.


Indonesia-Eats said...
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Indonesia-Eats said...

Kristine, if you keep this rendang for a night it will be tastier. To get the authentic rendang, I have to plant turmeric in order to get the turmeric leaves. Since in Asian stores here, I can only purchase the root.

This dish is usually accompanied with blanched/boiled cassava leaves, samba lado mudo (green chili sambal) and gulai nangka (young jackfruit curry)

KristiB said...

Yea! Thanks for the feedback! I definitely have to make this again.