Beef Rendang along with Nasi Goreng in one of the most popular Indonesian dish through out the world. CNN even established rendang as number one of from World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods’ list. I’ve been posted about Kalio (Wet Rendang) recipe before, slightly different with kalio, rendang cooked in longer period, where the coconut milk has completely evaporated and caramelized onto a dark brown or almost black color. Another difference beetween rendang and kalio is people like to add kelapa sangrai tumbuk or toasted grated coconut to the rendang but rarely to the kalio. Rendang is one of the characteristic foods of Minangkabau descent and Sumatra’s culture, it is served at ceremonial occasions and to honour guest. Even we celebrate christmas with rendang and lontong or rice cake in thin coconut curry as a influenced from moslem communities. Just like blackforest and even christmas log cake that served during the Ied.
Rendang daging sapi is a dry version of kalio or stewed beef or any meat in heavy coconut curry, it’s coconut milk almost perfectly caramelized. Rendang in abroad like in England or Holland is actually kalio. This dish is also popular in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, the southern Philippines and southern Thailand. Just like in Europe, Malaysian and Singaporean rendang is more like kalio which is lighter in color and taste compared to its Minang counterpart. The other difference of rendang and kalio is amount the oil dripping. Rendang got less dripping than kalio because when you keep stirring and continue to slowly cook the kalio, the oil dripping is absorbed to the spice and “fried” the spice into dried and caramelized
In Minangkabau culinary tradition, there are stages on cooking meat in spicy coconut milk. Its category is according to the liquid content in cooked coconut milk, ranges from the soupy most wet to the most dry: Gulai — Kalio — Rendang. The ingredients of gulai, kalio and rendang is almost identical with the exceptions that gulai usually uses less red chilli pepper and got more turmeric, while rendang uses richer spices. If pieces of meat are cooked in spicy coconut milk and the process stopped right when the meat is done and the coconut milk has reached its boiling point, you have gulai. If the process continues well until the coconut milk is partly evaporated with brownish colored meats, then you have kalio. When the process continued hours more until the liquid completely evaporated and the color turns to dark brown almost black in color, then you have rendang. According to this notions, the real rendang is those with less liquid contents. The colors also indicate the differences; gulai have light yellow color, kalio is brown, and rendang is dark brown. However, today there are two kinds of rendangs commonly found: dried and wet. Here step by step pictorial of Indonesian rendang doness.
Rendang is rich in spices. Along with the main meat ingredient, rendang uses coconut milk and a paste of mixed ground spices, which includes ginger, galangal, turmeric leaves, lemon grass, garlic, shallot, chillies and other spices. This spice mixture is called pemasak in Minangkabau. Traditional Padangnese rendang takes about 4 hours to cook, not like kalio that requires about half times from rendang The meat pieces are slowly cooked in coconut milk and spices at precisely the right temperature until almost all the liquid is gone, allowing the meat to absorb the condiments. The cooking process changes from boiling to frying as the liquid evaporates. The slow cooking process allows the meat to absorb all the spices and to become tender. During the process, the meat should be slowly and carefully stirred in the spicy coconut milk mixture and turned over without ruining the meat well until all the liquids have evaporated and compeletely caramelized. Just make sure you scrape well the rendang mixture from the bottom of the wok pan to prevent it sticky to the bottom of the wok pan and got burned.
Several tricks for making a delicius indonesian beef rendang is chosing the correct ingredients. The best cut of beef for making rendang is lean muscle cut like silverside beef or daging gandik in bahasa Indonesia, the other optional cut for making beef rendang is topside or even brisket. Silverside has regular and relatives long muscle fibers or grain, cut it along the muscle fibers or not cut it agains the muscle fibers for making a fleshy beef rendang. Freshly squeezed coconut milk from fresh grated coconut is always be the first choise for making beef rendang recipe, but you can use the canned coconut milk too.Make sure you choose the natural canned coconut milk, without any stabilizer and preservatives or your rendang will got clumped. Choose the matured coconut to get more creamy coconut milk and it makes more savoury rendang. My family used to using a fresh chilli, garlic, shallots, turmeric and another ingredients instead the alrealy prosessed or dried powdered from store brought for making a kicking rendang and tagged as “mother in law impressed” dish.
Indonesian Beef Rendang Recipe:
- 1 kg silverside beef (daging gandik sapi) , cut 4x4x2 cm along the meat fibers
- 2 Indonesian bay leaves (daun salam)
- 3 kaffir lime leaves(daun jeruk purut), deveined
- 4 lemongrass (sereh), bruised and tied up
- 3 Liters coconut milk (santan) from 4 matured coconut or 600 ml canned coconut milk
- 1 turmeric leaves (daun kunyit), tided up
- 2 cup water (air), in case you needed
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil (minyak sayur)
Indonesian Rendang Spice Paste :
- 20 shallots (bawang merah)
- 12 cloves garlic (bawang putih)
- 250 gr red chillies or cayenne pepper (cabe merah)
- 3 tbsp HOMEMADE GARAM MASALA SPICE MIXTURE (bumbu rendang/ bubuk kari)
- 4 cm ginger (jahe)
- 3 cm galagal (laos)
- 4 cm turmeric (kunyit)
- 4 candlenuts (kemiri)
- 4 dried sliced Garcinia xanthochymus fruit (asam kandis)
- 10 cloves (cengkeh)
- 4 green cardamon (kapol/kapulaga hijau india)
- salt to taste
How to Make Indonesian Beef Rendang:
- Heat up the oil, saute the spice paste with a low heat until the spice is throughly cooked. Visual aspect is the key! the oil is slowly separated and formed in the edge.
- Pour about 200 ml coconut milk, add lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, bay leaves and turmeric leaves, let it boil and slightly evaporated
- Continue stirring the mixture until the oil is separated or driven off from the mixture
- Add beef meat. Stir another 15 minutes until the meat is throughly cooked
- Pour the remaining coconut oil and water, bring to boil
- Simmer and continue to stir it gently until the broth is thicken.
- You may see the oil id driven out from the sauce after cooked for 2 hours, its called kalio
- Continue stirring and cook the kalio until you’ve got rendang with a nice dark brown or black color (see the pictorial above), add more water if necessery to prevent the rendang got burned.
- Discard the lemongrass, bay leaves and kaffir lime leaves.
- Serve with steaming hot rice
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