15 May 2012

Beef Rendang

Just love the combination of beef rendang with lemang. By thinking of that, will make me mouthwatering.

Lemang is a traditional Malay food that the glutinous rice and coconut milk stuffed inside some bamboo tubes, and then be slowly roasted over open fire of charcoal or wood fire. No way I can make lemang at home. I don’t dare to trigger the fire alarm of the building I stay.

As for the rendang, there are quite many varieties. Here, different families will tell ya some somewhat different rendang recipes. As for me, I like to make my home-cook without too excessive of oil. Some people argue that more lemak, i.e. the fat, better the taste; well, which is true. You decide.

Beef Rendang
250 g beef, cut in chunks
7 shallots            }
3 cloves garlic     }
1 cm galangal      } pounded finely  (or blended by food processor)
1 cm ginger         }
2 large stalks lemon grass, cut into 3 parts, crushed
1 1/2 tsp chili paste
1 tsp coriander powder
3/4 tsp fennel powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/3 tsp turmeric powder
1 small stick cinnamon, 2”
1 small star anise
2 candle nuts, pounded
1/2 turmeric leaf
3 kaffir lime leaves
1 TBsp tamarind paste added with 1 TBsp water, deseeded
1/2 tsp palm sugar / gula melaka
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 cup water
1 TBsp kerisik

cooking oil
salt to taste

1. Heat a wok or a frying pan with 2 TBsp oil over medium heat, stir-fry & brown all pounded (II) until fragrant. Add all (III) continue browning until very fragrant. Constantly stir-fry, avoid the spices get burnt. If hard to stir, add 1 TBsp of coconut milk (or cooking oil, if you wish). 
(Be patient and take some time to brown the spices over medium or medium-low heat.)

2. Turn to high heat, add in the beef (I), stir-fry them quick to pan fry the meat with the spices.

3. Add all the (IV), stir a little, bring to boil, turn to low heat. Lid on. Simmer the beef for 1 to 1.5 hour until tender. (It took me 1 hour this time.) Stir the rendang once in a while to avoid bottom burning. (It might requires constant stirring depending the wok/pan. My non-stick pan allows me some 15 minitues intervals.)
Note: more water might be required.

4. When the beef is tender and the gravy is thicken, add salt to taste, stir-fry in the kerisik (V) till you find the oil seperated.

5. Turn off the heat. Discard the leaves (turmeric leave, kaffir lime leave, lemon grass) and star anise. Serve.

I made dry-beef-rendang. For rendang with some gravy, need not to cook it till dried up while adding more water (say, more 1/2 cup).

Lots of families love to use an electrical blender to blend the spices & blend in thinly cut turmeric leaves, kaffir lime leaves & lemon grass into smooth paste. I hate washing my blender. I told there are ways and cooking styles. Also, bigger beef chunks require longer cooking time. On another occasion, I simmerred 350 g beef for 1.5 hour.

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