>Beef Rendang – my first attempt

>This was my first attempt at beef rendang, my all time favourite. It was thick and creamy but it didn’t look like the rendang in restaurants, you know what I mean, the deep dark brown colour, the richness of the chillies and curry, the tenderness of the meat, the delicious aroma and delicate onion, garlic and lemongrass that flavours everything. How do you make rendang look like rendang? Leave it to cook in the wok longer under low heat? I’m determined to try it again until I am satisfied with the look and the taste.

I used another blogger’s recipe for inspirations, but yet it didn’t turn out like hers, oh well, try and try again.

I started off with toasting some dessicated coconut which was lovely once it turned golden. I toasted the entire packet, think it was about 300g but I didn’t use it all. I can keep it for another time, another beef rendang dish.

The main ingredients are onions, garlic, ginger, curry leaves and lemongrass. These are all chopped into smaller pieces and then processed together.

This is my new hand blender which came with a small processor and beater which was great for 2 people. I think it costed us about AED250 at Carrefour and this was my Christmas present. I wanted so much to make home made soup but till date, I haven’t 😉 but it was nice to break into it by processing some food. I did like it, it’s a nifty little thing with multiple uses. Next on my list is a grill. That would be fun as we can then have our faux BBQ nights.

I cut, cleaned and processed 2 cloves of garlic, 5 medium onions, a medium sized ginger, 4 lemongrass stalks. It took me about 5 go’s at processing all that because the pot was small and held very little. I didn’t blend the curry leaves, you can peel/break them in half to release the curry flavour but that’s about it. I eat curry leaves whole anyway but in saying that, if you want to blend it, then by all means do it. The recipe calls for 8 fresh green chillies to be blended in along with the wet mixture, but my husband won’t be able to take spiciness of it (come to think of it, neither can I) so I omitted this. This created a huge heap which was abit too much but it’s ok, vegetables have very low calories anyway.

So I cubed up about 850g of meat, a mixture of roasting beef and veal. Prepared the wet mixture (above) and set it aside. The spice mix consisted of:
4 tbsp curry powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground tumeric

This is the magic powder – meat curry powder from Malaysia which was given to me by my mom and I am so utterly grateful for it. The curry powder is heavenly! Utterly heavenly! The flavours in the supermarket in Dubai cannot compete with this flavour at all, hands down. I’m so happy I’ve got a few packs to last us a few more months otherwise I’ll be asking for more to be posted over to us!
The method of putting the ingredients together is very simple, one at a time, the wet mixture goes into the wok with heated oil (I used Rice Bran Oil rather than Olive Oil). Cook till fragrant and until the mixture dries up. Put in the dry spices and salt. Stir until everything’s mixed through well. Keep on cooking till dry(ish).

Then add in the meat, in the middle of the wok, put the lid on and leave to cook for at least 15min. Turn the meat, still leaving it in the middle and cover for a further 15min. I like to adapt this approach (thanks to watching mom all those years) to ensure that my meat is cook before I stir everything else together. Once cooked through, stir in together the onion mixture and add in either coconut cream (1 can) and 1/2 cup water or replace the coconut cream with yoghurt and water. Stir together again well and leave to simmer for about 30min – 1hr (if you have the time) under a low heat to tenderise the meat. I would use tenderloin, roasting or striploin beef because it is soft anyway so there isn’t a need to simmer the meat for so long.

We enjoyed it with a side of blanched broccoli and brown basmati rice, and some left over Thai Salmon Salad and spring rolls. We had multiple servings each, it was lovely. But I would like to try making rendang again as it just doesn’t look like proper rendang that you get in Asia. So watch this space for batch number 2 or 3 or 4 as I continue to try and perfect the beef rendang!