Beef Rendang or Rendang Padang is an authentic Food from Indonesia, especially West Sumatra. It’s made from beef stew with depths of flavors of spices, herbs, and coconut milk cooked for a long time to make the meat very soft. It’s delicious, rich, and easy to make.
Do you know what the world’s best foods are? If you chose rendang, congratulations! Based on CNN Foods 2011, the world’s most delicious food is rendang from West Sumatra, Indonesia. Try this now!
What is Beef Rendang?
According to CNN Food, Beef rendang is slowly simmered with coconut milk and a mixture of lemongrass, galangal, garlic, turmeric, ginger, and chilies, then left to stew for a few hours to create this dish of tender, flavorful bovine goodness. Tasting it fresh out of the kitchen will send your stomach into overdrive, but many people think it gets even better when left overnight.
Rendang, a culinary gem, traces its origins to the Minangkabau people of West Sumatra, Indonesia. Originally from Indonesia, though many people are also known as a Malaysian curry, the sauce is made with aromatic spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and star anise as well as fresh aromatics including lemongrass, garlic, ginger, and galangal.
Unlike many curries, Beef Rendang is a dry curry which means there is not loads of sauce. However, the meat is ridiculously tender and has a thick coating of sauce on each piece, so when the meat literally falls apart at a touch, it mixes through rice, flavoring it like saucy curries.
This dish is usually reserved for special events, such as weddings, dinners with important guests, and Lebaran, the Indonesian name for Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan. Bathed in coconut milk and aromatics like galangal and lemongrass then reduced until almost all moisture is evaporated, rendang can be served with turmeric rice. it’s also often served at ceremonial occasions and to honor guests.
The uniqueness of Rendang
The uniqueness of rendang, compared to any other slow-cooked beef curry, is that during the cooking process, the coconut milk reduces, and the oil separates from the coconut milk. This means that the beef is initially slow-cooked to tenderness in that creamy-spicy sauce, and then as the oil separates, it fries the beef, giving it a beautiful, caramelized exterior.
Next, rendang Padang is dark in color. The spices, the coconut cream, and everything else in there will gradually change color as you cook the rendang. and the last one yes, separation oil. Yes, that’s one of the key signatures of rendang. The oil that separates from the coconut cream helps to preserve rendang and also adds an incredible flavor to the dish, and also makes rendang last a little bit longer.
The rich, complex flavors of rendang, stemming from its blend of aromatic spices, coconut milk, and slow-cooked tender meat, have captivated the taste buds of people across various cultures. Its unique combination of savory, sweet, and slightly spicy notes, along with its creamy texture, makes it a culinary delight that appeals to a broad range of palates.
Let’s Discover the art of crafting the perfect homemade Beef Rendang with our timeless recipe. Try our trusted recipe today and savor the irresistible allure of this world-renowned dish.
Ingredients of Beef Rendang
- Beef Tenderloin; choose the part that comes from the forequarter of the cow. This consists of parts of the neck, shoulder blade, and upper arm. It’s a tough but very flavorful cut of meat that needs long slow cooking. This makes perfect for beef rendang. You definitely don’t want to cut the beef too small or too large. Try to cut into equal size as much as possible. Cut into about 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces. Lucky me here I can just buy beef for rendang already the same size from the grocery store. Find the cuts with some fats marbled in the meat.
- Grated Coconut; imparts a nutty flavor to the rendang. Coconut is a key element in Indonesian cuisine and contributes to the dish’s richness.
- Coconut Cream; Use full-fat coconut milk for the best texture and flavor. Light coconut milk will work, but it’s just regular coconut milk with added water.
- Bay Leave; Bay leaves contribute to the overall aroma and complement the spices used in rendang.
- Kaffir Lime Leaves; Adds a touch of citrus. Fresh or frozen ones work great.
- Lemongrass; Just like the name says it’s a member of the grass family with a very lemony taste. Commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine, it can be found in the produce section at almost any market.
- Cinnamon; Adds a warm and sweet flavor to the
- Clove; Imparts a warm, sweet, and slightly bitter taste. Cloves add depth and nuance to the flavor profile of the rendang. I see that some people use star anise
- Water; Needed to braise the meat and thin the sauce out.
Form of aromatic and flavorful spice paste that serves as the foundation for the rendang. These ingredients include Red Curly Chili, Red Chili, Greater Galangal, Ginger, Shallot, Garlic, and Nutmeg Powder, which create a complex and well-balanced flavor profile.
- Red Curly Chili and Red Chili; Add a lovely kick to the dish. Just use fewer chilies if you want to make mild curry. But to make it hotter just leave a few of the seeds in the chilies.
- Greater Galangal; This rhizome is related to ginger, but it’s more earthy and peppery in flavor, which contributes to the authentic flavor of the rendang. You can find it in almost any Asian market. Yet, in a pinch, you can just use ginger
- Ginger; You will need a fresh knob of ginger for the paste.
- Shallot and Garlic; kind of most used aromatic for Indonesian cooking. Yellow onions are the best substitute.
- Nutmeg Powder
- Salt; sugar and white pepper No dish would be complete without some salt, pepper, and sugar to enhance all the flavors. for the sugar option, you can also change to brown sugar
- Chicken Stock Powder
- Ground Coriander; This spice highlights all the aromatics in the dish with its very subtle floral taste.
How to Make Beef Rendang
Let’s make the main ingredient for beef rendang, first thin first roast the grated coconut over medium-high heat until the color turns brown. Then, grind the roasted coconut with a pestle and mortar or spice grinder until becomes a paste and the oil comes out. Set aside.
Move to the next step, grind all the grind seasoning ingredients with a hand blender or wet mill. Next, Transfer the seasoning mixture to a wok and combine it with coconut paste, coconut cream, bay leaves, lime leaves, lemongrass, cinnamon, clove, and water. Then, Stir until well combined add beef tenderloin, stir again coat, and turn on the heat over medium heat.
Then, Cover the wok with the lid and bring it to a boil. After boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer the beef rendang until water evaporates and the beef is tender, about 2 hours.
Let the rendang simmer on low heat, allowing the beef to absorb the flavors and become tender. This slow-cooking process is crucial for the development of rich and complex flavors.
Taste the rendang and adjust the seasoning if necessary. You can add more salt, sugar, or spices to achieve the perfect balance of flavors.
Continue simmering until the rendang reaches the desired thickness and the beef is tender. This process may take a few hours, but the result is a flavorful and succulent dish. Lastly, Keep checking and stirring every now and again. Turn off the heat.
Finally, Serve beef rendang with warm rice. Enjoy!
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Homemade Beef Rendang
- 1 kg Beef Tenderloin
- Grated Coconut
- 65 ml Coconut Cream
- 2 Bay Leave
- 2 Kaffir Lime Leaves
- 2 Lemongrass
- ½ Cinnamon
- 2 Clove
- 300 ml Water
- 50 g Red Curly Chili
- 100 g Red Chili
- 1 inch Greater Galangal
- 1 inch Ginger
- 6 Shallot
- 4 clove Garlic
- ½ tsp Nutmeg Powder
- 1½ tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Chicken Stock Powder
- 2 tsp Sugar
- 1 tsp Ground Coriander
- ½ tsp White Pepper
- 100 ml Water
Roast the grated coconut over medium-high heat until the color turns brown. Grind the roasted coconut with pestle and mortar or spice grinder until become a paste and the oil comes out. Set aside.
Grind all the grind seasoning ingredients with a hand blender or wet mill. Transfer the seasoning mixture to a wok and combine it with coconut paste, coconut cream, bay leave, lime leave, lemongrass, cinnamon, clove, and water. Stir until well combine then add beef tenderloin, stir again coat and turn on the heat over medium heat.
Cover the wok with the lid and bring to boil. After boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer the beef rendang until water evaporates and the beef is tender, about 2 hours. Keep checking and stirring every now and again. Turn off the heat.
Serve beef rendang with warm rice. Enjoy!