Beef Rendang

This is a simplified version of the exorbitantly rich and complex Indonesian beef curry, beef rendang, a signature dish of West Sumatra. Beef rendang is simmered slowly in a ginger, chili, lemongrass paste and coconut milk broth until most of the liquid has cooked down and you are left with an intensely flavored semi-dry mixture. It is a celebration dish in Malay cuisine and can be served as a main course over rice or as a side with other Malaysian food.The ingredients for my beef rendang can be found easily at most big supermarkets. I have substituted lime zest for the Kaffir lime leaves, a traditional ingredient which is added when the beef begins its long simmer and light unsweetened coconut milk to shave off a few calories. IngredientsFor the Red Chili Paste3-5 fresh red hot chilies3 shallots, peeled and sliced4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, sliced1 teaspoon turmeric2 tablespoons paprikaFor the Beef Mixture2 teaspoons vegetable oil2 cups light unsweetened coconut milk1 cup chicken broth1/4 cup sugar2 pounds beef, chuck or top round, cut into 1-inch piecesZest of 1 limeCooked white rice for servingToasted unsweetened coconut, cilantro and golden raisins for garnishCombine paste ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. If too thick,add a tablespoon or two or water.In a wide saute pan deep enough to hold the liquids, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the red chili paste and cook, stirring until the paste is aromatic. Add coconut milk, chicken broth and sugar, cook for 10 minutes. Lower heat to simmer and add the beef and lime zest. Simmer uncovered about 1 1/2 hours. Lower heat and cover the pan, cooking about 30 more minutes until sauce is very thick.Serves 4



  1. scotbrit
    January 24, 2007 / 6:26 pm

    Doesn’t look dry at all…looks delicious

  2. amish bed frames
    March 31, 2011 / 2:27 am

    I think this will be nicer and delicious with some sauce. I find it dry looking at those.

  3. Lynne
    March 31, 2011 / 10:44 am

    amish bed frames-Thanks for visiting my blog. The beef rendang is a traditional dry-braised dish which is designed to infuse the flavor into the meat, but if you like more sauce, I suggest cooking it for a shorter period of time or adding some liquid; maybe some broth or water.

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