Tuesday, 12 July 2011

the Best Beef Rendang (Spicy Beef Stew with Coconut)

The Best Beef Rendang
(Spicy Beef Stew with Coconut)
For those of you that have never tried Beef Rendang, I can only describe it as a rich and tender coconut beef stew which is explosively flavoursome – it will definitely win you over!

Serves 4
Prep time:  20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 45  minutes

For the curry paste
5 shallots, roughly chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tbsp galangal
5 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
3 lemongrass, outer layer removed and roughly chopped
8 dry chillies, soaked in water and roughly chopped
1 tsp turmeric

For the Curry
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
3 star anise
3 cardamom pods, crushed with the back of a spoon
3 cloves
650g/1lb 7oz braising steak, cut into 2cm/1 inch cubes
400ml/14 fl oz coconut milk
2 tsp tamarind puree
6 kaffir leaves
Zest of a lime1 tbsp sugar or palm sugar
Salt to taste
50g/2oz desiccated coconut flakes

Basmati rice to serve, cooked as packet instructions
Small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped


1.       Place all of the curry paste ingredients into a food processor and blend until you have a smooth puree.
2.      Heat a large wok and add the oil.  Add the curry paste and fry for 1-2 minutes until the paste in darker in colour and very aromatic.
3.      Add the cinnamon, star anise, cardamom pods and cloves and cook for a further minute and then add the braising steak.
4.      Fry the meat in the paste until browned all over and then pour in the coconut milk and tamarind, simmer and then add the kaffir leaves, lime zest and sugar.  Season with salt and simmer for 1 – 1 ½ hours, stirring frequently.  When ready the meat should be very tender and the sauce very rich.
5.      Meanwhile in a dry pan toast the coconut flakes until they are deep brown in colour.  Blend to a powder in either a food processor or pestle and mortar.  When the curry is ready stir in the coconut and mix through.
6.      Serve with basmati rice and a sprinkling of fresh coriander.

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