This is one of my favourite curries, that I first learned from the wonderful Asian Cookbook by Charmaine Solomon. I still intend to find another copy some time. I hope my girls are giving it good use now. This adaption is the result of my inevitable experimentation, and the constraints of finding ingredients. Now I believe have the perfect rice dish and accompaniment to serve with it.
It is a dish of which you cannot make too much, because it keeps so well and improves with age. If the science of cooking interests you, in this meat dish the Maillard reaction comes at the end, not the beginning. That is, you don’t brown the meat at the start, but caramelise it at the end. When choosing beef for this you should be sure it has a reasonable amount of fat/marbling.
Because it is slow cooked, cheap tough cuts of beef are fine. Although it is slow-cooked, it is NOT suitable for a slow-cooker, because it is a dry curry. You can’t go away and forget about it. It takes around two hours and you will need to check on it periodically to ensure it does not stick to the pan and burn.
Alan’s Rendang Daging
- 2 onions
- lots of garlic
- a thumb of ginger, sliced
- A slice of trasi (shrimp paste)
- 6 long red chillies seeded
- 4 long green chillies seeded
- 1 tsp chilli sambal
- 1 tin coconut cream
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- 2 tsp ground coriander seed
- 1 tsp cumin
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped lemongrass stalk
- a squirt of lemon or lime juice
- 1 tsp galangal (laos) powder
- 1.5 to 2 kg beef, cubed or sliced into thick strips
- 2 tsp tamarind purée in a cup of hot water
- 2 Tblsp palm sugar or brown sugar
- Blend the onions, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, chillies, galangal, trasi and coconut cream to a smooth creamy liquid
- Put into a large heavy-based saucepan with the rest of the ingredients except the tamarind water and sugar
- Rinse the blender with the tamarind water and add to the pot
- Bring the pot to the boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer uncovered, stirring regularly, until the sauce thickens
- Reduce heat as low as possible and simmer, still uncovered and stirring frequently
- When the sauce is almost dried up, and the oil separates out from the coconut cream, add the sugar and turn the heat up just a little.
- Continue cooking and stirring constantly until the meat turns dark brown and the sauce is almost absorbed.
- Serve garnished with some freshly chopped coriander leaves, along with Moh’s Saffron rice, steamed or stir-fried vegetables, or carrot and capsicum sambal and krupuk (prawn chips).