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Beef Rendang from Neil Perry’s Good Food

2010 January 5

On my first outing with my new friend Carlo late last year, we had a lunchtime work week picnic. It was a beautiful day, and it was my first taste of the traditional Malaysian dish Nasi Lemak, served with a gorgeous beef rendang. I asked Carlo where he got his recipe, expecting a wonderfully complicated and difficult process, but he surprised me when he said, Neil Perry’s book “Good Food”. Yippee! I had that book, and had honestly never really paid much attention to it.

I’ve always wanted to make my own curry pastes from scratch but have always been somewhat intimidated by the process, even though it’s relatively easy.

This recipe, is actually really, really simple, using easily available ingredients. An excellent introduction to making your own curry pastes.

Rendang of beef by Neil Perry

  • 800g beef, cubed [the original recipe calls for topside, but use casserole beef)
  • 150g rendang curry paste
  • 600ml Coconut milk (I used light)
  • 1.5 tablespoons tamarind paste
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves, crushed
  • 1.5 tablespoons grated palm sugar

For curry paste

  • 15g shrimp paste
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 5g fresh turmeric, grated or 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • Finely grated zest of 1 kaffir lime (I used normal lime)
  • 40g ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 40g galangal, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 lemongrass stem, white part only chopped
  • 12 long red chillies, seeds removed and chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves chopped

For curry paste
Wrap shrimp paste in foil, and roast for about 10 minutes in a medium oven until fragrant.
Blend all ingredients until a smooth paste is formed

For curry
Heat a large pan or wok then add curry paste and fry for around 3 minutes until fragrant.
Add the beef, coconut milk, tamarind, and kaffir lime leaves.
Simmer uncovered, stirring frequently so the coconut milk doesn’t stick for 1- 1.5 hours until meat is tender and gravy has thickened.
Add palm sugar and salt to taste
Serve with Nasi Lemak or just steamed rice

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14 Responses leave one →
  1. January 5, 2010

    Looks delicious! Ok you were right, this actually looks do-able, LOL.

  2. January 5, 2010

    Sounds really yummy and looks great too. One for the ever extending list of things to cook.
    .-= Andrea´s last blog ..Fridge Soup – lentils =-.

  3. January 5, 2010

    Looks yum – will give it a spin this weekend! I actually have a kaffir lime tree so can use real one or leaves if fruit not ready.

  4. January 6, 2010

    Reem that looks so tasty! I’m usually lazy and use a packet mix curry paste as a base for my rendang, but this looks totally doable. Loving this idea of your cookbook challenge :)
    .-= Steph´s last blog ..Ju Ge Mu & Shimbashi, Neutral Bay =-.

  5. Carlo permalink
    January 6, 2010

    I also went one more step further than the recipe to thicken the sauce the right way.

    Toast 1/2-1 cup shredded or shaved dried coconut (NOT desiccated) in a frypan until brown and fragrant, and stir into the sauce once the meat is done to your liking. Use more or less coconut depending on how ‘soupy’ your rendang is – I find following the recipe in full leaves you with a lot of soup to thicken and if you just boil it down the oil splits.

    Adding toasted coconut soaks up the water and oil, producing that deliciously thick gravy you get from a hawker stall but eluded me at home for years!

  6. January 6, 2010

    Wow, you can see all the real ingredient bits that make up the curry! Nothing like homemade =)
    .-= mademoiselle délicieuse´s last blog ..Cantonese Cooking 101: Stir-fries =-.

  7. January 6, 2010

    Haha! I’ve been waiting for this story :) Good on you for making your own curry paste from scratch. I’ve promised myself that I’ll do that once my curry pastes run out.
    .-= Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella´s last blog ..Orange Farmer’s Markets and Lolli Redini, Orange, NSW =-.

  8. pommiefoodie permalink
    January 7, 2010

    Hey that looks GOOD! Might have a go at that one…

  9. pommiefoodie permalink
    January 7, 2010

    PS I have a small kaffir lime tree in a pot if you’re ever stuck!

  10. Da Boyfriend permalink
    January 7, 2010

    Da Boyfriend says, oh snap this stuff is the snizz :)

  11. January 8, 2010

    Your rendang looks absolutely fantastic!! Nothing beats a fresh homemade curry :)
    .-= Ellie´s last blog ..Ben & Jerry’s Original Recipe: Superfudge Brownies with Reese’s Peanut-Butter Cups =-.

  12. September 17, 2010

    Nice…but I would’ve added some coconut paste. Super duper yummy!!! ^_^
    Kaira´s last post..Thanks for this wonderful licorice tea hun ♥ yeahanother sketch on the envelope -o 17-Sep-10

  13. April 15, 2011

    Looks richly delicious! I’ve found using gravy beef for rendang is also great because it gives a little gelatinous texture to the thick gravy.

  14. john buikhuisen permalink
    July 21, 2012

    that rendang dish looks so good,could you please tell me where you got that samll bender from as i am keen to purchase one.. thanking you john

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