Out of the many recipes in my ever growing 'to try' list, the one that had been calling my name lately was the beef rendang. Beef rendang is an Indonesian dish that is basically beef braised in coconut milk and spices. I enjoy braising meat and I just had to try braising with coconut milk. I was not sure what cut of beef I would get when I went to the butchers; I just knew that I wanted something that was nicely marbled so that it would become tender and full of flavour. I ended up getting some short ribs that were inexpensive and looked nicely marbled. I had not used short ribs before but they looked like they would work nicely in the rendang. The beef rendang was pretty easy to make though it did require several hours of braising so it is probably best for weekends. While the beef was cooking my place was filled with the amazing aroma of coconut and the spices. By the time the beef was done braising it had absorbed all of the flavours from the spices and it was really tasty! The short ribs had braised well and the meat was nice and moist and literaly falling apart tender. I was pleasantly surprised by how well the coconut and spices worked in this savoury beef dish. I served the beef rendang simply on rice with some toasted coconut.
- 5 shallots
- 1 inch galangal
- 1 inch ginger
- 3 lemongrass (white part only)
- 5 cloves garlic
- 10 dried chilies (soaked in warm water)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 cloves
- 3 star anise
- 3 cardamom pods
- 1 pound beef (cut into bite sized cubes)
- 1 lemongrass (white part only, pounded)
- 1 cup thick coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
- 6 kaffir lime leaves (sliced)
- 6 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes (toasted)
- 1 tablespoon palm sugar (or sugar)
- salt to taste
- Process the shallots, galangal, ginger, lemongrass, garlic and chilies in a food processor.
- Heat the oil in a pan.
- Add the paste from step 1, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, cardamom and saute until fragrant.
- Add the beef and lemongrass and saute for a minute.
- Add the coconut milk, water, tamarind and simmer while stirring until the meat is almost cooked.
- Add the kaffir lime leaves, coconut and palm sugar.
- Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the meat is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, about an hour or two.