Friday, February 5, 2010

Hot dang - a fast Beef Rendang

So, what do you do if you crave some beef rendang but don't have 2 hours to wait for the meat to cook? Why, you 'look for shortcuts', of course!

This usually happens when the lightbulb goes off above your head at, say, around 4pm.  But that doesn't leave much time to leave work, get to the shops, find and purchase your ingredients, rush home, chop and prep, then cook the meal.  And don't get me started on presenting it nicely on a plate.  Plating up? Pshaw!

The shortcuts I made to this version of rendang are numerous and many. Not really. I just used a prepared rendang paste from the supermarket, and pre-cooked the beef by briefly sauteing it then resting it while the sauce cooked.  The sauce is not the 'proper' dry rendang sauce, as it contains quite a bit of coconut milk and stock, and the extra liquid does help the meat cook properly, and keeps it moist.   The dry rendang is also very good, as I evidenced by this version by AlmostBourdain, that I've had the pleasure of tasting - it's something I'd like to have a go at if I had more time!

Simple Beef Rendang
serves 4

1 tblsp vegetable oil
500g beef rump steak, trimmed
2 eschalots, chopped
1 cup dessicated coconut
4 tblsp rendang paste (use less if you want it less spicy)
400ml coconut cream (reduced fat is okay)
1 cup vegetable or beef stock
2 tblsp fish sauce
1 tblsp lime juice
1 stalk spring onion, sliced (optional)
boiled rice, to serve

1.  Heat 1/2 tblsp of oil in a large frying pan over high heat.  Cook the beef for about 3 minutes each side (for medium-rare), or until cooked to your liking.  Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with foil.
2.  Add eschalot and coconut to the pan.  Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.  Do not let the coconut get burnt. 
3.  Add the rendang paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute until fragrant.
4.  Add coconut cream, stock and fish sauce.  Bring to the boil and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the sauce has thickened.  Stir in lime juice.
5.  Slice the beef into thin slices and return to the pan.  Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes until just heated through.
6.  Serve with rice and spring onion.
 - Any leftover sauce can be stored in a covered container in the fridge for a few days - just reheat in a saucepan.

The steak is cooked whole to start off with, then sliced and added to the sauce later.

Keep the dry coconut and rendang paste on the move by stirring -
it can brown quite quickly

This dish does not really lend itself to plating up -
I just bunged it on a sort of Asian-style plate.

...and don't forget the spring onion to garnish


  1. i love the plate you used :O)

    and its cool that you have all these short cuts for yummy food as most of us work till five then commute home some of us hit the gym or have to stay back late etc etc

    thanks for sharing !

  2. I just finished dinner, but your post is making me hungry all over again. This looks delicious and filling, and I, too, love your shortcuts. Thanks for sharing. I hope to try this soon!

    Anyway, I found you through TasteSpotting and am writing to say that if you have any photos that aren’t accepted there, I’d love to publish them. Visit my site (below), it’s a lot of fun! I hope you will consider it.


  3. I bought some rendang paste for the first time the other day, so this is a very timely post! How considerate of you :)

    (cool plate too!)

  4. One of my favorite dishes. Thanks for the tips for making it faster!!

  5. Looks yum! Kind to share which Rendang paste you used? I've only tried Brahim's.

  6. It's great to have a shortcut to make your favourites. I like your cunning method of resting the meat.

  7. I've tasted Ellie's beef rendang and really enjoyed it as well! But this is such a great idea to know I can now make it in a much faster time than before using beef rump steak!

  8. HOw I miss a good rendang. Waiting for dinner and this is not making me feel better! lol

  9. always good to have some tips as we are running after time !! cheers from pari pierre

  10. Beef rendang...mmm....just the mention of it sent my saliva flowing. It's my fvaourite. I always use the ready past too.

  11. Your picture looks amazing. Love the textured place mat and the leaf plate :) I love both dry and wet version of rendang and Thanks for the mention.

  12. looks yummy and what a pretty plate!

  13. I am all for quick and easy meals. The rendang looks delicious and I am sure it would make for a great meal after a hard day at work.

  14. wow I'm impressed, usually these curries have a million ingredients, good to see it can be cut down with still a nice result!

  15. :-). We have an Indonesian nanny so....I know what you mean about a 2 hour cook, esp when the fluorescent light goes off at the close of work! Saying that, we have a chicken version in the fridge.....I must confess that I prefer this wet version to the dry!

  16. I love this idea!! Any shortcut is a good short cut. I might try this out on Daz, he love beef rendang

  17. Hi Betty – er, yes, the gym. Good to know that some of us (not me) are nice and fit!

    Hi tigerfish – you’re most welcome

    Hi TasteStopping – thanks for stopping by

    Hi Conor – all the Asian pastes (red curry, rendang, etc) are pretty good. I don’t think I’m up to making the pastes myself, so they’re a great alternative.

    Hi Geoff Wilson – you’re very welcome!

    Hi joey@FoodiePop – would you believe I got the plate at Target? I should have bought more than one...

    Hi Foodwink – the rendang paste was from Woolworths. It’s by Kokita, I think, and it comes in a sachet. It’s good and not too spicy.

    Hi Arwen – I’ve learnt from experience that resting the meat is always worth it, even when you are going to cover it in a sauce. Nothing worse than though steak :o)

    Hi Trissa – I checked at the supermarket and there isn’t much price difference between gravy beef and rump steak. So for a quick cooking time, rump steak is the go!

    Hi penny aka jeroxie – hehe, I try not to read food blogs before dinner!

    Hi Pierre – we all have good intentions of slow cooking, and all that, but sometimes it just won’t happen. Shortcuts are good when you want something casual and quick.

    Hi MaryMoh – good to hear that you use the paste, too. I can imagine your rendang would be delicious!

    Hi Ellie – I still remember your rendang with the lovely coating of coconut. Very good indeed!

    Hi Panda – thanks, with so many compliments on the plate, I will have to go back to Target this weekend to see what else they have!

    Hi A cupcake or two – In the absence of a housekeeper and/or cook, I suppose a quick rendang is the next best thing!

    Hi Howard – I’m sure purists would cringe at using readymade paste, but hey, when you’re hungry, who cares?

    Hi Kitchen Butterfly – oh yes, chicken would be so good, too,. I may give that a try tonight; thanks for the idea!

    Hi Maria @ TheGourmetChallenge – let me know how it goes. I’m sure Daz is a connoisseur!