Beef Rendang is an extremely popular, and richly flavoured Malaysian coconut beef curry.
As a general rule, hubby is the curry chef in our household. He cooks quite often and when he does it’s either spicy or it’s slow cooked or both and I’m not complaining one little bit. He’s a great cook and it also gives me a break from cooking now and then since I do quite a lot of it.
So many variations
This time though it was my turn. I love a good curry and I was in the mood to replicate an authentic Malaysian Beef Rendang recipe. As with most ‘classic’ recipes, there are so many variations on Beef Rendang, one of the major ones being Malaysian or Indonesian. All rendang recipes seem to have their own spin on the combination of spices, and some are dry, while others have more sauce. So, as usual, I researched like crazy and came up with my own version based on the flavour of beef rendang as I know it. I’m happy to say it’s ah-maze-ing!
To sauce or not to sauce
Malaysian Beef Rendang is most typically a “dry” curry, and even though I’m an extra-sauce-on-the-side-please kinda gal, I went for it. You can see that in the photos but you can absolutely adjust this to your own taste. Towards the end of the cooking time, the liquid is all evaporated off to leave an intensely rich coating of spice to the meat. So that evaporation super-intensifies the flavour, however, if you like a little more sauce, you can make a little extra ooooorr just stop cooking sooner to leave some of the sauciness behind 🙂
A good beef rendang recipe is one that cooks slowly over low heat with a gentle stir here and there and a patient eye on it just to make sure it doesn’t catch in that last hour. I promise you it’s absolutely worth the wait and would I lie to you guys? No way!
There is also quite a list of ingredients. But you will be hugely rewarded for your loving efforts with a flavourful spicy, coconutty (yep, making new words day and night, haha), tender coconut beef curry.
Now, I’m not a patient person as a general rule so I wasn’t patient enough to wait until the next day to do this part but, apparently, it is even better the day after cooking as the flavours get to merge and develop more. You might have to let me know 🙂
Now go forth and curry it up (yes that just happened)
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 inch piece of ginger , chopped
- 1 inch galangal , chopped
- 4 cloves garlic , crushed
- 4 shallots , roughly chopped
- 2 lemon grass
- 1 – 3 Tbsp dried chilli flakes (depending on how hot you like it) **
- Other ingredients
- 4 tablespoon oil (see notes)
- 1 kg beef topside or blade , cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 2 cardamom pods
- 2 star anise
- 6 kaffir lime leaves , very finely shredded
- 2 stalks of lemongrass , pounded
- 3 discs of ginger (about 4mm thick)
- 400 ml coconut milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 teaspoon tamarind puree
- 1 tablespoon palm sugar (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup toasted dessicated coconut
Use a food processor to turn the spice paste ingredients into a paste.
Over medium heat, heat half of the oil, then brown the meat but don’t cook through. Put aside.
Fry the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, star anise and kaffir lime leaves, for a minute then transfer to bowl with meat.
Heat the other half of the oil and add the spice paste. Stir fry until fragrant (a minute or 2).
Add back the beef, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, star anise and lime leaves, along with all the remaining ingredients.
Cover loosely with a lid and allow to simmer over very low heat for 3-4 hours.
Once the meat is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, turn the heat up and stir constantly to remove as much moisture as possible (or to desired consistency). It should be a nice dark, chocolatey brown.
Serve with steamed rice, or naan bread etc.
I use an Australian standard 20ml Tablespoon
Note: Galangal, kaffir lime leaves, ginger can all be very successfully frozen if you have leftover. If you don’t want to by palm sugar, just use half the amount of light brown sugar