After a friend served this for dinner on a recent trip to London, I knew I simply had to have the recipe. He gave me his, but I have tweaked it a bit (that's just me, after some research). Rendang has it's origins in Indonesia, but is also commonly served in Malaysia for feasts and wedding meals. The rich dark stew has wonderful flavours of lime, ginger, chilli and coconut. It's ideal for a cool fall dinner. Serve with a glass of moscato wine or an India pale ale.
1 onion, roughly chopped
30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped fresh ginger
15 ml (1 tbsp) chopped garlic
1 lemongrass stalk, tough outer layer removed and roughly chopped
5 ml (1 tsp) turmeric
30 ml (2 tbsp) brown sugar
6 long red dried chilies, soaked in water and roughly chopped
30 ml (2 tbsp) canola oil
1 cinnamon stick
6 cardamom pods
650 g (1 lb, 7 oz) braising steak, cut into 2 cm/1 in cubes
zest of 1 lime
400 ml (14 oz) coconut milk
coriander sprigs to garnish
For the rendang paste, place the onion, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, turmeric and chilies into a food processor. Blend to form a smooth purée.
Heat a saucepan and add the oil. Fry the paste over a high heat until the paste turns darker and is highly aromatic. Add the brown sugar.
Add the cardamom pods (crush the cardamom pods gently with the back of a spoon before frying) and the cinnamon stick broken in half and cook for another minute then add the meat.
Fry the meat in the paste stirring all the time, until it is well-browned.
Pour the coconut milk over it and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the lime zest.
Cook for between one hour and one hour and a half, stirring frequently. The meat should be really tender and the sauce reduced and rich.
Serve with white or herbed rice.