Beef rendang is inspired by the flavours of Malaysia and Indonesia, recreated at home to make a delicious family meal or the perfect group dinner.
Beef rendang is a dish often cooked in my home, particularly when I have friends coming around for dinner. It’s one of those dishes that require a small amount of preparation in terms of preparing the paste. However once prepared the oven does all the hard work. This warming aromatic beef stew is a winner and when I cook it there are empty plates all round.
Michelle is from a large family, she is the youngest of six siblings, taught to cook by her mother she likes feeding large numbers. When family visit she is known to fill her freezer with large quantities of meat. However, she then forgets its there! One day, while rummaging in the freezer for something, we came across an extremely large pack of stewing steak. This posed the question “what will we do with all this meat?” Not being wasteful we decided to make two large pots of beef rendang, sorting both our dinners for that night.
Beef rendang is traditionally cooked on the stovetop, but we’ve made this recipe for slow cooking in an oven. Cooking it this way means we don’t have to stand over the hob stirring to stop the curry sticking. This dish has a dry consistency with a thick and rich flavoured sauce. It is not overly spicy and was enjoyed by our families, served simply with plain boiled rice.
- 2 tbsp light oil - eg groundnut, vegetable
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 g cinnamon stick
- 450 g stewing steak - diced
- 400 ml can coconut milk
- 1 Knorr beef stock pot
- 1 tsp tamarind paste
- 1 tsp palm sugar - or soft brown sugar if you cannot find
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 red onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2.5 cm root ginger
- 3 red chilli - de-seeded
- 1.5 stalks lemongrass
- Place all paste ingredients in a food processor, along with a tablespoon of water and blitz to a fine paste.
- Heat the oil in a heavy based oven proof dish with a tight fitting lid. Add the paste and fry gently over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the dry spices and continue to fry gently for a further 2 minutes.
- Add the diced steak to the pan and brown it to seal in flavour, taking care to mix it well with the spice mixture.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the pan and stir well, you may need to add an additional 100ml water to loosen the sauce, depending on the coconut milk you use (see note below).
- Cover the pan with the lid and place in a low oven 150CFan for 3 hours. Check from time to time and stir, adding a little splash of water if it looks like its drying out too much.