Monday, January 30, 2012

Beef Roast Transformed-Rendang Curry

Beef roast is a humble and delicious cut (when treated properly), and yet it has pretty much been relegated to the realm of pot roasts and stroganoufs.  Of course there is nothing wrong with these comforting classics, but what of beef roasts that have bigger dreams?  Dreams of being simmered slowly in a broth of coconut milk and fragrant Indonesian spices.  Well for one lucky beef roast, this dream came true.

Beef Rendang Curry

Interested? Recipe after the jump!

My beau's mother was kind enough to gift us with an enormous beef roast.  Originally I had planned on making pot roast (so uninspired) until I saw a recipe for Beef Rendang on foodgawker.  I instantly knew what I had to do, and I'm so glad I did.  This curry is complex, spicy, sweet, coconutty, with that umami depth that makes you want to lick the plate clean. 

Beef Rendang 
Adapted from No Recipes

1 tsp salt
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 inch of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
3 tbsp Asian style red pepper flakes (note: this is not the same as crushed red pepper flakes.)
2 tbsp canola oil
2 pounds beef roast, trimmed to 1/4in fat and cut into large cubes approx. 1.5in
2 stalks of lemongrass, white part only, minced
1/2 a lime, juiced and zested
1 inch ginger, sliced into 1/8 in coins
1 can coconut milk
1 tbsp turbinado sugar
2 medium potatoes, diced medium
salt to taste
water as needed

1.  In a food processor add the salt, coriander, turmeric, ginger, garlic, onions, and red pepper.  Puree until completely smooth.
2.  In a large heavy pot or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high heat.  Lightly salt the pieces of beef and brown on both sides in batches.  Once browned set aside on a plate to collect the juices.
3.  Once all the beef has been browned and removed, and the spice paste, lemon grass, ginger coins, and lime to the pot.  Stir until fragrant and most of the moisture is gone.  Next stir in the coconut milk and turbinado sugar, stirring to combine. 
4.  Return the beef and it's accumulated juices to the pot and bring to a boil.  Cover the pot and reduce to a simmer.  Cook over low (enough to get a gentle bubble) for 2.5hours, stirring about every half hour.  If the sauce is getting to thick or there is not enough liquid in the pot, add a little water.  After the 2.5 hours are up add the potatoes and continue cooking until they are cooked through, about another 30-40 minutes.  Salt to taste (mine did not need any additional salt).  Garnish with sliced green onions and serve with white rice.

The transformation of this dish is really stunning.  It goes from this:

To this:

This dish is full flavored and not intimidatingly spicy (although I myself am a hot food fiend).  The next time you think of making pot roast, consider giving Rendang a try.  It's no more difficult, and in my humble opinion, far more rewarding.

Have a very Tasty Tuesday everyone!


  1. A pot roast alternative, pretty creative stuff!

  2. This looks great! We've been making a lot of dishes lately with coconut milk!


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