There is an Indo-Malaysian take-away Restaurant that we love in our area. Whenever we are lazy to cook, we order a dish called Beef Rendang which is cooked in coconut milk and an exploding paste with loads of spices! Personally, I love making paste from scratch especially for curries. So Jan, dared me to make my own Beef Rendang last week.
There are two ways in making this dish. You either go for the easy way using a ready-made paste available in stores or make your own spicy paste. Either way you still need to work on your patience as it would take about 3 hours to get the consistency that you want to attain.
- 3-5 fresh birds eye chillies (depending how you want it spicy. 4 chillies is already spicy)
- 6-8 baby shallots
- 30g ginger
- 30g galanggal
- 2 lemon grass (use only the lower part and peel the outer layer of the skin)
- 15g turmeric
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 kaffir lime leaves
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 1-2 star anise
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 kg beef shin or beef cubes
- 1 lemon grass (bashed)
- 400mL coconut milk
- 250mL water
- 2 kaffir lime leaves (finely chopped)
- 1 tbsp of coconut oil
- 1 chicken boullion
- 1 tbs tamarind paste
- 1 tsp palm sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 50g desiccated coconut (toasted) - makes the sauce thicker
- Chopped into small pieces all the ingredients needed for the paste and place it in a food processor. I use a cheap one and it works well for me. Grind it until it becomes a paste.
- In a heavy based pot heat the coconut oil. You can also substitute any vegetable oil. Add the paste and cook for 3 minutes. I normally do this to release the smell and the taste from the paste. Add other 4 additional ingredients and cook for another minute in a medium low heat.
- Put the beef and the bashed lemon grass and mix with paste. Place the lid and allow to simmer for 5-7 minutes so the beef absorb all the flavours from the paste and until all the meat are not red anymore.
- Add the remaining ingredient for the beef and leave it to simmer on a low heat for 2.5 hours. Check the meat every hour and stir. Reduce the sauce in the remaining 30 minutes by taking out the lid and cooking on a medium heat, stir it from time to time to avoid burning the sauce. The meat should be tender by this time and easy to fall apart. The sauce should be brown by this time.
- While you are cooking the beef, you can toast your desiccated coconut to light brown which you will add in the end. Take some tea or enjoy a cup of coffee and a book while waiting. 🙂
- After the 2.5 hours you are now ready to add the remaining ingredients for seasoning. I don't like to taste the crunchiness of desiccated coconut, so I cook the dish for another 5-7 minutes in a low heat after adding the seasoning