Sunday Dinner: Beef Rendang

Gosh, I love a good slow cook on a Sunday when I have some time to casually prep (and maybe enjoy a glass of wine or two as I do so!).

I have been wanting to make Beef Rendang for a long while; I always jump on it when I go to a good South-East Asian restaurant, but have never managed to make one myself.

After a bit of a search online, I settled on using this recipe from Goodfood.  I stayed pretty true to the ingredients in this recipe, although did halve it as there were only two to feed.  The only comments on the ingredients were that I used coconut sugar instead of palm sugar, and freshly ground all my spices together in a mortar & pestle rather than opting for the pre-ground variety.

I did, however, make a few changes to the way I approached the cook – I wanted to brown the meat beforehand using this technique from the Serious Eats website.  This guy really knows how to cook, and I appreciate the way he explains the science behind his methods (Note I did also make that pork adovada recipe and it was superb, definitely a keeper!)

The modified steps were as follows:

  1. Process onion & garlic as per original recipe
  2. Coconut milk was cooked and reduced also as per original recipe
  3. On a high heat in a deep saute pan, I heated a small dash of coconut oil then super-browned one side of the meat – the key here was to leave it be for 5 mins or so, no matter how tempting it was to turn the meat.  Most definitely a lesson in patience!
  4. Once the bottom of the meat was well browned, I took it out of the pan and set it aside.
  5. The heat was then turned down to medium, and now time for the freshly ground spices, which were cooked only for a minute or slightly less (you definitely want them to cook but not burn).
  6. The onion mix, chilli, lemon juice, lemongrass & coconut sugar was then added and cooked for a few minutes before returning the meat to the pan.
  7. A quick mix to carefully combine everything; the heat was then turned down to a low simmer, the lid went on and I stepped away from the kitchen.
  8. I checked the rendang periodically (maybe every half hour) over a 2 to 2.5 hour period, giving it a bit of a stir each time.

In the last 15 minutes or so I removed the lid and turned the heat up ever so slightly, to allow the sauce to reduce further – here is the rendang almost ready:

Beef Rendang (1 of 3)

Served up with some plain rice (although I think coconut rice is called for next time round) and a dash of fresh coriander:

Beef Rendang (2 of 3)

The texture of the meat was spot on – the beef still had some structure but pulled apart easily to reveal delicious pink strands of meaty goodness:

Beef Rendang (3 of 3)

This will most definitely be made again – beefy coconut heaven.


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