You know those recipes that immediately pop out at you, that you bookmark or pin on Pinterest and you just can’t forget? Beef Rendang – a Malaysian beef curry – was one such recipe for me. I pinned two different recipes for this tempting, coconut-infused beef curry on my Asian Inspiration board, each with a slightly different method and equally enticing result. It’s just that kind of dish. It had a similar effect on Manu of Manu’s Menu: “When I saw this recipe at Not Quite Nigellaâ€™s website,” she wrote in her post, “I knew I HAD to make it.” And so when I saw it over at Manu’s Menu and No Recipes, well, I also knew I HAD to make it.I must admit that mine is a bastardization. For one, I didn’t have galangal or kaffir lime leaves, two key ingredients. I took my favorite elements from each of the two recipes, like tamarind paste from Manu’s recipe and freeze dried coconut cream from No Recipes. I went with what I had, and I have to say that while slightly labor intensive, it was worth every second, every step, and every dirty dish that went into the process. It was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. And be warned: the photos do not do it any justice. They’re pretty horrid in fact.
This Beef Rendang is a beef stew like none you’ve ever tasted. The tender, slow cooked meat is enrobed in a thick, rich sauce of coconut milk, tamarind, ginger, garlic, turmeric and more. It’s one of the most beautiful flavor combinations I can imagine, and leaves you with serious cravings, even once you’ve wiped up every last drop from the pot.
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1½ teaspoons tamarind concentrate
- ¾ cup (about 2 ounces or 55 g) desiccated coconut, toasted in a dry pan (reserve 2 tablespoons for the spice paste)
- 2 pounds (1 kilo) beef chuck or stew beef, cubed in bite size pieces
- 2 onions â€¨or 4 shallots
- 1 large jalapeÃ±o, seeded
- 1 inch ginger, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons toasted coconut (from above)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
- 2½ tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 (2-oz) packages coconut cream powder, rehydrated in 2 cups warm water (or 1 400 ml/13.5 oz. can coconut milk)
- Mix together the salt, sugar, tamarind concentrate and water in a large bowl. Add the beef and toss to fully coat. Add the toasted coconut (reserve 2 tablespoons) and mix well. Set aside.
- Put all of the spice paste ingredients in a food processor and blend until you get a smooth paste.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Cook the meat, working in batches, until seared on all sides. Transfer to a bowl.
- Add the spice paste and the rest of the curry sauce ingredients and cook for a few minutes.
- Add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Return the beef to the pan.
- Turn the heat to a low simmer, cover and allow to simmer for 2 hours or until the meat is fall-apart tender.
- Uncover, turn the heat to high, and boil for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until the sauce has reduced and thickened to desired consistency.
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