The KING OF ALL CURRIES is here!!! Beef Rendang has incredible depth of flavour, with complexity and many layers of spices. It’s straight forward to make, though it does take time and perhaps a trip to the Asian grocery store (though Sydney-siders will find everything at Woolies). Watch the video and drool!
I got this Beef Rendang recipe from a payroll lady at a company I used to work for. It’s her Malaysian mother’s recipe. I still remember, so many years later, how we used to bond over food at the water cooler!
I actually first published this recipe a couple of years ago but I’ve made some minor improvements that will make your life easier without changing the flavour at all. Plus I made the video!
Beef Rendang is considered by many to be the king of all curries, and I think it’s with good reason! To say it’s extravagantly delicious is an understatement. There are very few curries in this world with such amazingly complex flavours.
If you’ve never tried to make a curry from scratch before, this is a good one to try because even though it may require a trip to the Asian grocery store, it is very straightforward to make.
Wait – actually – if you live in Australia (well, at least Sydney!), you won’t need to go to the Asian store! You can get everything you need at Woolies. Seriously!
Unlike many curries, Beef Rendang is a dry curry which means there is not loads of sauce. However, the meat is so ridiculously tender and has a thick coating of sauce on each piece, so when the meat literally falls apart at a touch, it mixes through rice, flavouring it like saucy curries.
An interesting cooking method with Beef Rendang is the way it gets the deep brown colour. All throughout the video, right up until the very end, you will notice that the sauce is a pale brown colour. It’s not until the very end when the sauce reduces right down and the oil separates that it turns brown, essentially the browning of the beef in the oil of the sauce.
This Beef Rendang can be made in a slow cooker, but I find it easiest to make it all on the stove. Especially given it starts on the stove with the browning of the beef and spice paste, then finishes on the stove with the reducing of the sauce and browning of the beef (this part cannot be done in a slow cooker).
This is one of those recipes that just gets better with time. So whenever possible, I try to make this a day or two in advance. It also freezes extremely well.
I serve this with my Restaurant Style Coconut Rice because it’s my copycat of the coconut rice you get at the posh modern Asian restaurants! And it’s not just coconut milk and rice….you can find the recipe here.
Happy weekend! Try not to trip over the kerb, plant your hand in unidentifiable mush or chuck your keys in the bin….. – Nagi xx
PS You see those bits stuck on the beef that could be shredded coconut?? It’s not. It’s bits of shredded BEEF. Because it’s so tender by the end, when you’re stirring it, some bits do flake off. YUM!
- 12 dried chilies, rehydrated in boiling water, or 12 large fresh (Note 1a)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped (Note 1b)
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 lemongrass stalks, white part only, sliced (Note 2)
- 1 1/2 tbsp fresh galangal, finely chopped (Note 3)
- 1 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
- 2 tbsp oil (vegetable, canola or peanut oil)
- 2 lb/ 1 kg chuck steak, or other slow cooking beef, cut into 4cm / 1.6" cubes (Note 4)
- 1 tbsp oil (vegetable, peanut, canola)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/4 tsp clove powder
- 3 star anise
- 1/2 tsp cardamon powder
- 1 lemongrass stick, bottom half of the stick only and smashed (Note 5)
- 400ml / 14 oz coconut milk (1 standard can)
- 2 tsp tamarind puree / paste, or tamarind pulp soaked in 1 tbsp of hot water, seeds removed (Note 6)
- 4 large kaffir lime leaves (or 6 small) , very finely sliced (Note 7)
- 1/3 cup desiccated coconut (finely shredded coconut)
- 1 tbsp brown sugar or grated palm sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- Place Spice Paste ingredients in a small food processor and whizz until fine. NOTE: If using dried chilli and you know your food processor is not that powerful, chop the chilli first.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large heavy based pot over high heat. Add half the beef and brown, then remove onto plate. Repeat with remaining beef.
- Lower heat to medium low. Add Spice Paste and cook for 2 - 3 minutes until the wetness has reduced and the spice paste darkens (don't breathe in too much, the chilli will make you cough!).
- Add remaining Curry ingredients and beef. Stir to combine.
- Bring to simmer, then immediately turn down the heat to low or medium low so the sauce is bubbling very gently.
- Put the lid on the pot and leave it to simmer for 1 hr 15 minutes.
- Remove lid and check the beef to see how tender it is. You don't want it to be "fall apart at a touch" at this stage, but it should be quite tender. If it is fall apart already, remove the beef from the pot before proceeding.
- Turn up heat to medium and reduce sauce for 30 - 40 minutes, stirring every now and then at first, then frequently towards the end until the beef browns and the sauce reduces to a paste that coats the beef. (Note 9)
- The beef should now be very tender, fall apart at a touch. If not, add a splash of water and keep cooking. Remove from heat and serve with plain or Restaurant Style Coconut Rice.
Originally published in November 2014, updated with the ridiculous events of 26 May 2017, a recipe video and a slightly improved recipe.
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
Beef Rendang recipe video!
LIFE OF DOZER
Dozer’s got a boo boo. i.e. Shredded his paw by tearing manically across a bed of oyster shells in pursuit of a pelican.
Let’s not feel too sorry for him though. He’s been pretty pampered.