Braised beef in coconut (Rendang)

  • 1lb beef chuck, cut to cubes (similar w/ beef stew, about 0.5 inch thick, 1.5 inch length).
  • Salt & pepper to taste.
  • 6 cups coconut milk.
  • 1 lemongrass stalk.
  • 1 cup minced shallots cloves.
  • 1 cup minced garlic cloves.
  • 2 whole star anise.
  • 2tbsp ChiliCali Galangal Base.
  • 1tsp ground coriander.
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon.
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves.
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut.
  • 15g grated peeled ginger.
  • 2 cups water to cook  beef.
  • Half a lime, squeeze.
  • 3tsp Chilicali Sambal Base.
  • Chopped green onion to garnish.

Using a medium size round dutch oven, or a wok, or a deep frying pan, low boil beef in 2 cups of coconut milk and 2 cups of water. (Safe the other cups of coconut milk for later). Add ginger, star anise, garlic and shallots. Break lemongrass in half, bruise, add to the pot. Stir occasionally. No cover.

About 30-45 minutes later, the beef will still be tough, but the liquid is almost gone, so this is a good time to add 1 more cup of coconut milk. Continue cooking the beef. Stir occasionally.

About 1 hour later, when the liquid is reduced again, add 1 more cup of coconut milk. Continue cooking the beef. Stir occasionally.

Add another cup of coconut milk at a time when you see the liquid is way reduced but the beef is still tough.

In about 2 hours, the beef should be almost tender. This is when you will add the last cup of coconut milk, remove lemongrass and star anise from the pot, add coriander, cinnamon, cloves, grated coconut, lime juice, and ChiliCali Galangal Base and ChiliCali Sambal Base.

The next 30 minutes is very critical. Increase heat from medium low to high heat, keep stirring so the beef don’t get stuck at the bottom, but stir gently so you don’t break the beef. Reduce liquid, keep stirring, and the sauce will become thick and brown. It’s okay to have sauce stick at the bottom and the sides of the pan, you can scrap the sticky sauce gently while still stirring the beef.

Warning, it will be messy because the sauce will splatter, you can use a splatter guard if you have one.

I prefer my rendang dry (no liquid, see photo) so I reduce the liquid all the way, but some Indonesian like to keep the sauce (like curry). You can reduce the liquid as much/little as you prefer during the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Add more salt if needed. Garnish with chopped green onion.

Serve 4-6 . Serve with jasmine  rice. Time to make: 2.5 hours.

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