Some years ago I am stocking up on spices at a Pakistani grocery. On my way out I see some envelope packets like the ones you normally see in supermarkets, the ones for chili or gravies and such.
One I notice had an unusual name: “Rendang”. I’d never heard of it and pick it up. It says Beef chili with coconut, which interested me, so I purchased the packet. The directions were a little strange, like – cook for two whistles. I later realized it referred to a pressure cooker that makes a whistling sound every so often.
But I cooked that Rendang and it tasted wonderful. I learned that Rendang is an important dish in Indonesia; they have that rice table down there, I love rice.
An American oil worker gave me this recipe back in the 1980’s. He got it from a family in Jakarta. Let’s make some of this exotic, tasty Rendang. Serves 8
3 lb (1.5Kg) chuck steak, cut into 1- inch cubes
4- 13.5 ounce cans (1.75 litres) coconut milk
3 medium onions, cut into quarters and sliced
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon of minced gingerroot
4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1-teaspoon galangal, chopped (if unavailable, omit)
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 bay leaves
Put every ingredient in a big deep skillet or heavy pot. Simmer uncovered for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally during the first hour, and a little more frequently towards the end, tasting for salt. The remaining liquid should be mostly absorbed into the meat.
This delicious Sumatran stew is good served atop steamed rice. Join the millions who love it.