Rendang-Spiced Coconut Beef

Rendang-Spiced Coconut Beef

  • 1½ lb beef cut into 1½ to 2-inch chunks [tougher cuts of beef is suitable]
  • 4 cups thick coconut milk
  • 1 cup fresh coconut [meat], finely grated
  • [Substitute: unsweetened desiccated coconut]
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, slightly crushed [cut to fit in the wok or pan]
  • 2-3 turmeric leaves [daun kunyit], [Substitute: kaffir lime leaves;
  • or the zest of 1 lime]
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • 4-5 tbsp chili paste
  • 1½-inch fresh ginger, peeled, sliced
  • 1-inch galangal [lengkuas in Malay], peeled, sliced
  • 1½ inch fresh turmeric root [kunyit basah in Malay], peeled, sliced
  • 2 tsp coarse salt
Rendang Recipe Instructions
Season beef with salt and pepper, marinate for at least 30 mins

Using a mortar & pestle or blender grind galangal, ginger, turmeric root, chili paste and kosher salt into a spice paste

In a dry heated pan, toast the finely grated coconut [meat] over low heat, keep stirring until golden brown. Allow to cool, then using a mortar & pestle, pound into a paste [called kerisik in Malay]

Heat wok on high, stir-fry spice paste 2-3 mins, add coconut milk, reduce heat and slowly bring to a gentle boil; stir often

Add beef and slow boil for 10 mins

Add lemongrass stalk, turmeric leaves [or kaffir lime leaves; or lime zest], sugar and season with salt and pepper

Reduce heat to low, uncovered, simmer for 1-1½ hrs; stir often with a spatula [be sure to 'scrape' the bottom of wok], add a little water if it starts to dry up too quickly]

Add the toasted coconut paste [kerisik] during the last 30 mins of cooking

When the beef is very tender - the gravy, thickens and oil starts to float on top - remove from heat and discard the lemongrass stalks and turmeric leaves