September 8, 2009

Beef Rendang/Dry Beef Curry

A traditional dish of beef simmered in a rich spicy coconut milk. This is a special dish to prepare during the festive and/or weddings in Malaysia. It is generally served with ketupat (compressed rice cubes), roti jala or plain rice. The authentic rendang recipe calls for kerisik, which is pan-fried or toasted fresh grated coconut. It is then grind to form a fine powdery paste. My family loves this dish and I used to make batches of it and freeze them. Whenever my kids come to visit, they have something yummy to bring home. Years ago, I used to prepare the curry spices from scratch using the mortar and pestle and it is very time consuming and tiring for my shoulders. Nowadays, I substitute it with ready-made pastes and spice ingredients that I can get in the local markets. I've tested a few of these ready-made paste and by far, the best one is Brahim rendang paste, and the Mae Ploy red curry paste.
4-5 lbs topside or round chuck beef, cut in large pieces (larger than bite-sized)
1 can coconut cream (dilute with some of the coconut milk)
½ can coconut milk
Fry Ingredients (C):
1 stalk crushed lemon grass
4 kaffir lime leaves
3 star anise
2 cloves
1 small piece cinnamon stick
3 pieces dried tamarind
1 tumeric leaf, finely sliced (optional if not available)
4 Tbsp. oil
Kerisik: (optional)
¼ cup grated coconut for kerisik
Spices (A): (Blend to fine paste)
1 package Brahim rendang paste (if not available, substitute with 2-3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste, or curry powder)
5 shallots, sliced
1-2 large onions, sliced
10 dried chilies, soaked and seeds removed
2 cloves garlic
½-inch ginger
4 stalks lemon grass, thinly sliced
4 kaffer lime leaves, sliced
4-5 slices of galangal
5 candlenuts (can substitute for a handful of walnuts)
Marinade (B):
2 Tbps curry powder
1 Tbp dark soya sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1. Season meat well with marinade ingredients (B) and set aside.
2. To make the kerisik, if using: fry the grated coconut in a non-stick frying pan (without oil) on low heat. Keep stirring until it is evenly browned and golden in color. It takes about 8-10 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle grind until it resembles a fine paste. I use a mortar and pestle to do this task. Tip: Adding kerisik to the rendang helps thickens the gravy and give it a nice aroma.
4. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-low heat, fry lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, blended spices (A), until fragrant and oil from the chilli starts to bubble on the surface. Continue stirring to prevent mixture from sticking.
5. Add in half of the coconut milk and stir the mixture for another 5 minutes, then add in the meat, dried tamarind, star anise, cloves, and cinnamon stick. Stir and mix until the mixture coats the meat evenly.
6. Add half of the coconut milk/cream, making sure the liquid is just enough to cover the meat. Cover and simmer on low until the meat is tender, stirring occasionally. Continue to simmer for 2 hours until the meat is tender and gravy has thickened
Tip: You don't add too much liquid as the meat will shrink during cooking, adjust when the mixture is getting too dry.
7. Add in the kerisik at the last hour of cooking time and stir in to mix with the gravy. The gravy should be thick and fragrant after the final stewing. Skim off some of the oil if you prefer.
8. Season to taste and serve hot with rice, roti or nasi kunyit.
Cook's tip:
You can make the kerisik ahead of time and keep in the refrigerator. I suggest you make extra and have enough for your next rendang. You can store it in an airtight container for up to about a month.
I find it economical to use coconut cream and add water to dilute and use accordingly. If using coconut milk do not dilute.
Printable Recipe

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey there, Miz Tasty!

I sure do love yer recipes. Out here in South Dakota, we don't get too much of yer fancy cooking unless we do it ourselves. So I sure do appreciate your blog.

I am confused as to when I should brown the beef. Is it before or after I add the coconut milk.