Historically, beef rendang, a dry curry, goes back to the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, for which provisions had to be packed accordingly. This dish, stewed and preserved in fatty coconut milk, was able to withstand the tropical heat thanks to the enormous variety of spices.
For the spice paste
Ingredients (Serves 4)
For the curry
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- Preheat the oven to just under 120 °C.
- For the spice paste, chop the chilli and blend with all other ingredients in a blender.
- Cut the meat into large 5 cm cubes.
- Pour a tablespoon of oil in a cast iron pan and let it come up to an elevated temperature, just before it starts to smoke. Sear the meat in several batches until browned. Add cumin and fennel seeds and fry vigorously.
- Reduce heat, remove the meat, add the spice paste and roast for 2-3 minutes until the moisture has evaporated. Add the remaining curry ingredients and spices to the meat and mix. Bring it up to temperature and put on a lid. Turn down the temperature to a gentle simmer.
- Put in the oven and check after 6-7 hours. The meat should be wonderfully softened, the sauce reduced and caramelized to a deep brown. If the sauce is still too light, remove the meat, place the pan with the sauce on heat and reduce further, stirring often to avoid catching. When the sauce becomes thick and pasty, add the meat back in and continue to roast until all the liquid has almost evaporated and everything has turned a rich deep brown colour. Beef rendang should be stewed until soft and almost dry.
- Garnish with fresh coriander and chilli and serve with plenty of jasmine rice.
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