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“Excerpted from Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore by James Oseland This extravagantly rich, dry-braised beef curry is a signature dish of the Minangkabau highlands of West Sumatra, Indonesia. Allow plenty of time to make it. Rendang has its own lethargic cooking rhythm, so that the more you try to rush it, the longer it seems to take. Use a shallow, wide pan, such as a skillet, rather than a deep soup pot. Use the best-quality beef you can get. Choose boneless chuck or bottom round laced through with bright white fat and cut it into cubes yourself. If you decide to use the maximum number of chiles this recipe calls for, you may need to use a standard-sized food processor, rather than a small one.”
3hrs 30mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. To make the flavoring paste, place the nutmeg and cloves in a food processor and pulse until ground to a powder, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the shallots, garlic, chiles, turmeric, ginger, galangal (if using), and candlenuts to the ground spices. Pulse until you have a chunky-smooth paste the consistency of cooked oatmeal.
  3. In a 12-inch skillet (nonstick works best), mix the beef and the flavoring paste. Add the coconut milk, lemongrass, cinnamon, whole lime leaves, daun salam leaves (if using), and salt. Stir well and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Immediately reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered at a slow, steady bubble, stirring every 10 to 20 minutes. Adjust the heat periodically to maintain an even simmer.
  4. At first, the broth will be thin and bright orange. As it cooks, it will become thicker and brown. Continue to simmer gently until the liquid has reduced by about 95 percent, stirring every 15 minutes or so to prevent sticking. Only the meat, oils, and a bit of thick sauce will remain. This will take 2 to 3 hours.
  5. When all the liquid has evaporated, reduce the heat to low (the meat and the remaining sauce are prone to burning) and allow the beef to brown slowly. The fat may be foamy, that's ok. Stir every 5 minutes or so, being careful not to break the beef apart. Continue sautéing the beef until browned, 5 to 10 minutes longer. The surface of the beef should be barely moist with an oily sheen. (If there is too much oil in the pan for your liking, skim some of it off.).
  6. Remove and discard the cinnamon, lemongrass, lime leaves, and daun salam leaves, and then transfer the beef to a serving dish. Allow the beef to rest for at least 30 minutes before serving. Slightly warm room temperature is best. Even better the next day.

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