Saturday, 20 August 2011

Rendang Daging (Beef Rendang)

Rendang is a dish that originated in Indonesia but is also very popular in Singapore and particularly Malaysia. Generally made from beef (rendang daging) but also occasionally chicken, mutton or duck, the meat is slowly cooked in coconut milk and spices, including lemongrass, galangal, chillies and ginger, for several hours until almost all the liquid is gone allowing the meat to absorb the spicy condiments. Sometimes kerisik (toasted coconut paste) is added towards the end of cooking.

Rendang isn’t something that can be whipped together after work as it really does need long & slow cooking. Further the kerisik does take some extra effort: a good 10 minutes of pounding with a pestle in a mortar can kind of take it out of you. The kerisik I should point out isn’t compulsory but definitely worth giving a go for the added depth of flavour it gives.

The ultimate reward to all this patient effort is a rich, aromatic and tender coconut beef stew which is very flavourful. And if you can bear to leave it to eat the next day so much the better.

Rendang Daging
Serves 2

500g stewing steak cut into ¾ inch cubes
400ml coconut milk
600ml water
1cm piece dried galangal
2 kaffir lime leaves
½ tsp salt
½ stalk lemongrass, cut across in half
½ tsp tamarind paste
1 tsp palm sugar
1 dried chile de árbol
2 tbsp kerisik (optional) *
Spice Paste
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 large red chillies, deseeded and chopped
½ stalk lemongrass, white part only, chopped
3 shallots or 1 onion finely chopped
½ tbsp chopped fresh ginger
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
½ star anise
2 cloves
½  tsp ground cinnamon

* to make the kerisik
Heat a frying pan and once hot add 40g grated coconut.

Over a medium heat stir and toss frequently until golden brown.

Remove from the pan and grind using a pestle and mortar until it becomes an oily paste - this takes about 10 minutes.

To make the spice paste, dry fry the dry spices for a couple of minutes over a medium heat.  Grind to a powder and set aside. Blend the rest of the ingredients until smooth and then add the spices and combine.

Put 1 tbsp of oil in a large saucepan, heat over a medium flame and when hot  fry the paste for a couple of minutes until fragrant.  Stir in the beef and sauté for a few minutes more then add the coconut milk, water, galangal, limes leaves, salt, lemongrass, sugar and tamarind paste. 

Bring to boil on a medium heat. Add the Chile de árbol then stir once then leave to simmer gently for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

When the liquid has mainly evaporated and the mixture is thick, continue cooking slowly stirring constantly and add the kerisik. By now the meat will be getting very brown and tender. Continue stirring for about 20 more minutes.

Remove the galangal, lemongrass and leaves and serve with steamed rice.

Note: I actually leave a little more liquid in my rendang than is strictly authentic but I prefer it that way.

1 comment:

  1. i actually try this recipes once when i went to my husband home town ,also attempted to cooking it (my mother inlaw thought me) well its very tasty and also tasty dish indeed