One of my all time favourites….Beef Rendang. It tastes so damn good. If you have never eaten this, your culinary life is incomplete! If you are too lazy to cook I can recommend Ivins Ivins peranakan restaurant in Binjai Park, Singapore. But you know what they say, ‘give a man a fish’ and all that…..
Now, the aficionados will probably be cussing me after this post as this recipe is slightly bastardized to fit my store cupboard. Whatever dude.
Approx 500g Beef shin or chuck steak cubed (the best stew steak in my opinion – and usually cheap)
1x 400ml Canned Coconut Milk and 100g desiccated coconut, or, two large handfuls of freshly grated coconut* from which you will make your own milk and coconut for the sauce.
One stalk lemongrass
3-4 large cloves garlic peeled
1 large knob fresh root ginger (about size of a golf ball) peeled
1 large onion peeled and roughly chopped
2-4 Lime leaves (fresh or dried)
1 heaped tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 fresh green chillies, or, 1-2 tsp chilli powder (more or less as you like)
6 stoned prunes, or, 1 tbsp tamarind paste
1 large pinch sea salt
3-4 tbsp. cooking oil (rapeseed or olive, or vegetable)
Blitz in a food processor: onion, garlic, ginger, fresh chillies or chilli powder, prunes or tamarind paste, spices, salt and 2 tbsp of oil.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a heavy bottomed pan. You are going to cook this dish for almost 2 hours on the hob so you need a large, solid pan to make sure it doesn’t burn. Add the paste and fry for a few minutes until the paste is sizzling. Add the cubed beef and stir for another couple of minutes till the meat is browned and thoroughly covered in the paste.
Smash your lemongrass bulb till split but in one piece and drop into the pan with the meat. Add lime leaves and stir.
Add tinned coconut milk and desiccated coconut, or home-made milk and grated coconut, and stir and gently bring to the boil. Cover the pan and simmer for 2 hours stirring occasionally.
This is a relatively thick stew so don’t worry if the sauce reduces down. If it gets very low add a small amount of water.
Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with white rice. The flavours in this dish get even better eaten a day later – just remember to store it properly ;).
*fresh grated coconut is available from supermarkets and vegetable markets in Singapore. It is packaged in supermarkets and found in the chiller section by fresh noodles, dumplings, tofu etc. In the market you will need to ask market seller to grate it for you on the day. When you have got it, just mix in a medium bowl with approx 900ml drinking water, and with clean hands squeeze the coconut in the water. Do this for about 5 minutes and set aside till you need it. The cream will rise to the top but you can just stir it back in to get really creamy coconut milk – sedap!