I have had this recipe from Nicky from Kitchen Sanctuary for beef rendang sitting on one of my pinterest boards since she posted it in November last year. Her photo lured me in with its fall apart beef but it had a long cook time – 4 hours in the oven so when she first posted it there was no way I was turning on the oven given it was summer in Australia. And then there was the matter of finding 4 hours when I would definitely be home to cook it. Not that I go out that much but I don’t like to leave the oven on if I am out in the garden. I am probably a bit paranoid about that but I can’t imagine how I would feel if something happened and the dogs were stuck in the house with a raging inferno.
We had the fire safety guys come around to work the other day as part of our annual workplace safety activities. They showed a video of how quickly a fire can catch in a house. Absolutely terrifying. Hence my paranoia.
But I finally set aside the time last weekend and set to making this curry. I love beef rendang curries and this one is fabulous. It has lovely sweetness from the coconut milk with the spices adding complex undertones. And there is a slight oiliness which I like.
Nicky mentions adjusting the cooking time depending on how saucy you like your curry. I love mine with lots of sauce so was keeping a close eye on things, which was a good thing as with my reduced quantities, the curry started to dry up much quicker than Nicky’s recipe indicated. As a result my beef wasn’t quite as fall apart as in Nicky’s recipe but it was still lovely and tender. I took the beef out of the oven after 90 minutes. So the bonus is that the recipe is quicker!
When I am first cooking a recipe like this I tend to cook up a batch for two. That way if the recipe is a disaster, and I do have a few of those, I haven’t wasted too much food. I hate wasting food but the idea of eating four meals that I don’t like is just too depressing. Not that this was a problem with this recipe and I think next time I make it I will do a full batch and freeze the leftovers. It would make a great meal to have on hand when you come home from a busy day and don’t feel like cooking. Much tastier than a lot of the takeaways out there.
If you make sure you cook it so there is plenty of sauce left at the end then I think it would freeze and reheat well. If you go a bit skimpy on the sauce then it might be a bit dry when you reheat it. My second serve reheated very well when I came to eat it later in the week.
To make a serve for two I used the following ingredients:
- 2 tsps vegetable oil
- 1 tsp cornflour
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- 250g beef suitable for stewing, cut into 1 inch cubes ( I used topside as I had that in my freezer and it needed using up but other cuts would probably be better and cheaper)
- 1/4 large brown onion,diced
- 2 tsps of minced garlic (equal to 2 cloves)
- 1 tsp of minced ginger
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp of lemongrass paste – fresh would have probably be better but I was feeling lazy.
- 2/3 of a red chilli, chopped
- 1/4 tsp tamarind paste
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 kaffir lime leaves
- 1 tbsp dark brown muscovado sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 260ml of coconut milk – use full fat
Preparation time was about 10 minutes but I had the topside pre-diced. The ingredient list is fairly long but most of it doesn’t require you to do anything other than add it to the recipe at the appropriate time. Cook time is about 1 hour 45 minutes with my reduced cook time. This is not one of the lowest calorie recipes out there at about 620 calories, but it is worth making as a treat especially on a cold day when the oven can keep you nice and toasty.
Other than the reduced time in the oven, I cooked the recipe as per Nicky’s instructions. I did find the casserole dish starting to brown so I added some water to prevent burning as Nicky suggests.