Beef rendang is an Indonesian spicy dish and no wonder the cooking is similar to our local dishes because Filipinos also have Indonesian ancestors. But this beef rendang dish has a more tedious way of preparing. You have to make a spice paste first by grinding it on the mortar and pestle and frying it before cooking the beef. Unlike most Filipino cuisines that we throw everything in the pot when cooking. There are also some ingredients that are only indigenous to Indonesia and some parts of Southeast Asia like the galangal, very similar to ginger root in texture and shape but has a more exotic taste. But is can be substituted with ginger. Now you don’t have to go to Indonesia to taste this dish, you can cook it right in your own kitchen.
How to Cook Beef Rendang (Coconut Milk Spicy Beef Stew)
For the spice paste:
- 8 dried chilies softened in boiling water and drained
- 10 small shallots finely chopped
- 7 cloves garlic minced
- 3 Tbsp. ginger minced
- 2 Tbsp. cooking oil
- 5 tsp. galangal peeled, cut into thin slices (can be substituted with ginger)
- 2 stalks lemongrass pounded
- 1 pc tumeric leaf
- 5 kaffir lime leaves torn
For the beef rendang:
- 1 kilo beef briskets cut into cubes
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
- brown sugar or muscovado sugar to taste
- salt to taste
How to make the spice paste:
- With mortar and pestle, grind the softened dried chilies, shallots, garlic and ginger into a fine paste.
- Heat the oil in a stew pot over moderate heat and fry the paste for 10 minutes and until fragrant.
- Be careful not to burn the paste. Keep adding some oil a little at a time if the paste becomes too dry.
- Add the galangal (or ginger), lemongrass, turmeric leaf, and kaffir lime leaves.
How to cook beef rendang:
- Add beef cubes to the fried spice paste. Stir in coconut milk and add salt to taste.
- Bring to a simmer (don't boil), cover and stir from time to time until beef is tender for about 3 to 4 hours.
- Add the sugar, increase the heat and cook a few more minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
- Serve hot with plain steamed rice, turmeric or java rice.