Rich and fragrant Beef Rendang with an incredible depth of flavor. It is an aromatic caramelized beef curry traditionally served during festive occasions.
Beef Rendang is a very aromatic caramelized beef curry. In Malaysia, you will find it during festive and ceremonial occasions such as wedding feasts and Hari Raya (Eid al-Fitr). Mom’s Beef Rendang is delicious but she rarely prepares it because we seldom eat beef at home. As such, I often look forward to invitations from Malay friends so that I can savor this special dish. Fortunately, I can now make it in my own kitchen.
Kerisik (Fried Coconut Paste)
One important ingredient in rendang is Kerisik (Fried Coconut Paste). It helps thicken the sauce and provides flavor and texture to the dish. You can make Kerisik ahead of time. It will keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator and 2 months in the freezer. Do check out this Kerisik video tutorial on how to make Kerisik for your Beef Rendang.
Please do not be deterred by the long list of ingredients and cooking time. I assure you it is easy to prepare and will be totally worth your effort. Your kitchen will smell amazing and you will be rewarded with the most tender and delicious beef curry you have ever tasted.
Turmeric leaves are almost impossible to find here, unless you grow your own turmeric. I must remind myself to grow some turmeric in a pot next spring so that I can have a few leaves for my rendang next summer. I had to leave it out this time. Please use it, if you have some on hand.
Similar Tools Used in Making This Beef Rendang
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- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 cinnamon stick
- 2 star anise
- 4 cardamom pods
- 6 cloves
- 2 stalks lemongrass (bottom third only, bruised)
- 2¼ lbs chuck roast (cubed) (1 kg)
- ½ cup water (120ml)
- ¾ cup coconut milk (180ml)
- 1 cup grated coconut (100g)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 kaffir lime leaves (thinly sliced)
- 1 turmeric leaf (thinly sliced) (optional)
- 3 red chilies (seeded and cut into pieces)
- 10 dried chilies (seeded, soaked warm water, and drained)
- 2 inch galangal (sliced) (60g)
- 2 inch ginger (peeled and sliced) (60g)
- 5 to 6 shallots (peeled and halved)
- 3 cloves garlic (peeled, and cut into quarters)
- 3 candle nuts or macadamias
- ¼ cup water (60ml)
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground fennel
- Blend red chilies, dried chilies, galangal, ginger, shallots, garlic, and candlenuts in a blender with ¼ cup (60ml) water. Transfer to a bowl. Add ground coriander, cumin, and fennel. Mix into a paste.
- Heat vegetable oil in a medium sized pot. Stir fry cinnamon sticks, star anise, cardamom pods, cloves, lemongrass, and spice paste over medium heat until fragrant, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add beef and give it a good stir to coat with spices. Then pour in ½ cup (120ml) water and coconut milk. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until beef is tender. Do give it a stir occasionally.
- In the meantime, toast (without oil) grated coconut in a frying pan, stirring constantly over low heat for about 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a mortar and pound toasted coconut into a paste to release the oil and fragrance. Set aside.
- Add sugar, salt, kerisik (fried coconut paste), kaffir lime leaves, and turmeric leaf (if using). Continue to cook for 30 minutes until meat is very tender and only a little gravy remains.
- Serve with roti jala, nasi briyani, or white basmati rice.
Serving Suggestions for Beef Rendang
I made this Beef Rendang twice in a span of two weeks because the family enjoyed it so much. It was really delicious served with Roti Jala and Nasi Biryani. I also served some Cucumber, Tomato, and Boondi Raita as a side dish for a cooling effect.
Be sure to check back next week for my Nasi Biryani recipe.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 😎