(Indonesian beef simmered in coconut milk)
Yield: 4-6 servings
3 tbsp oil
1/2 cup onion or shallots
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
3-20 chili peppers, minced
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
2 lb. beef, chuck or round, cut into thin slices
4 cups coconut milk
2-3 rounds ginger or galangal
2 stalks lemon grass, bottom 3-4" only, pounded flat
1 tbsp sugar
salt, to season
1. Blend the onion, garlic, chilies, turmeric and salt to a puree in a food processor or blender. You may have to add a little water.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high flame. Add the onion puree and sauté till fragrant and excess water is cooked out. Add beef and continue to sauté till meat is lightly browned.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 1 1/2 to 3 hours, until beef is very tender and sauce is reduced to a thick gravy. It will be necessary to add a little water now and then if the sauce becomes too dry before the meat is tender.
4. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and sugar and serve with steamed rice or ketupat (rice cakes).
* Rendang Kambing: use lamb instead of beef.
* Rendang Ayam: use boneless chicken breasts or thighs.
* Rendang is typically made fiery hot with chilies. Adjust the amount to your liking.
* The onions and garlic can be eliminated. Simply mix all the rest of the ingredients together, skip the sautéing step, and simmer till the meat is tender.
* The following ingredients can be added with the onions and garlic if you like: toasted, shredded coconut, 2 tsp cumin, 2 Tbsp coriander.
* One or more of the following ingredients can be added with the coconut milk if you like: 3-4 kaffir lime leaves, 3-4 whole cloves, 1 tsp cinnamon, curry leaves, 1-2 Tbsp tamarind paste, 2-3 crushed kemiri (candlenuts), 1-2 slices ginger, 2-3 bay leaves.
* Rendang is a "dry" meat curry that originated in the Padang cuisine of west-central Sumatra. It has become popular throughout the Indonesian archipelago as well as in Malaysia and Singapore. This intensely flavorful dish is often served on special occasions. The ingredients used to season it vary widely from region to region. Pick and choose as you like.
* The oil will probably separate from the coconut milk and rise to the top of the dish. While rendang is typically served fairly oily, you can skim excess from the top. Some cooks hold back half the coconut milk and stir it in toward the end to minimize oiliness.
Dan's notes: This is great. I added a couple cloves and a bay leaf. When it simmered way down it was really flavorful. It is really oily, though. I skimmed off a bunch of oil and it was still oily.