Beef Rendang – Indonesian Curry

Beef Rendang - Indonesian Curry

Beef Rendang is a suprising melange of flavors! This rich stew is first simmered, then slowly fried in the oils resulting from the coconut milk.



The paste:

  • 3 to 4 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 1 inch of a thumb sized piece of ginger,
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 to 4 or more small red chiles (like bird chiles) minced or 1 to 2 teaspoons red chili flakes

The Rendang:

  • 2 pounds beef, sirloin preferred, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • oil as needed to brown beef, about 2 tablespoons
  • 2 to 3 stalks lemongrass, bottom part only not leafy parts, outer layer peeled and bashed repeatedly with the blunt end of a knife
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 cans cononut milk, divided
  • 4 cups cooked rice for serving


First prepare the paste:

Add the shallots, ginger, garlic and chilis to a small blender or food processor. Pulse to a paste, scraping down as needed. Reserve.

To prepare the Beef Rendang:

Heat oil in a heavy Dutch oven or large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, in batches, and sear, until well browned. Remove beef and set aside. Turn heat to medium-low and add in the prepared paste along with the lemongrass, turmeric, coriander, and allspice and cook, stirring often until the mixture takes on a little color and begins to appear dry, a minute or two, being careful not to burn.

Return beef, along with any juices, to the pan, stir and add the first can of coconut milk. Cover with lid slightly ajar and adjust heat to a very low simmer, bubbles breaking the surface now and then. Continue to simmer, stirring now and then, every 15 minutes or so and more often as it reduces, until the liquid is mostly evaporated with about an inch left in the bottom of the pan.

Add the remaining can of coconut milk and continue to simmer, very gently, lid off, again stirring now and then and more as the mixture reduces. Take care not to break the meat up as you stir. As the mixture reduces, it will begin to fry in the oil that separates from the coconut milk. Tend it closely. When finished, the beef should be fork tender, look nearly dry and be covered in a coating of the curry. Remove lemongrass stalks and serve the Rendang with rice.


This Rendang has a two part process when cooked. The resulting flavor is outstanding, but allow for a long slow braise.

Keywords: Asian, Bargain Meal of the Week, Beef, coconut milk, Curry, Hot Peppers, lemongrass, Sirloin

%d bloggers like this: