Middle of winter and we need something to warm us through. Introducing Mr Beef Rendang ! Now a rendang isn’t your typical curry, in fact it isn’t a curry at all. Rendang is more a spiced meat dish, typically dry in nature but fantastically full of flavour.
Today I’ve cheated and used a packet mix. Mildura Rendang mix is fantastic for this, juicy, fragrant, packed full of spice, but it is only one half of this recipe. I reckon the cut of meat you choose, will either make or break this dish. Graham (the main man at Rumps) has offered up “beef fingers” as the perfect partner for my rendang. A little excited, we head home with the “fingers” ready to start. Beef fingers, is the piece of meat that sits between the bones on a beef rib. Dark in colour, streaky with fat, rich in flavour, it makes for the perfect meat component of this rendang.
In a heavy-based pan, brown the meat with a little oil in batches so as not to crowd the pan. Don’t stir it much, let it catch on the pan and really get some colour. No flouring is required, just heat and oil.
When the last batch is done, return the rest of the beef to the pan and crank up to high. Add 4 crushed garlic cloves, and a grated 1cm piece of ginger and fry till fragrant.
Meanwhile in a separate frying pan, add 2 onions thinly sliced, and cook over a medium flame until they have reduced to thin brown crispy onion pieces. Cool and set aside.
Add a stick of smashed lemongrass and a couple of kaffir lime leaves to the meat pan and continue to cook.
Add 1 packet of Mildura Rendang mix to the pot together with a couple of tablespoons of almond meal. Don’t be shy, don’t think its cheating – its bloody good !
Fry the mixture till its fragrant and the smell is wafting across to the neighbours house.
Add the cooled crispy onions, enough veggie stock to cover the meat, and simmer on a low heat for 2 hours.
Season and adjust the balance with palm sugar, fish sauce, salt and pepper.
When its done, the sauce should be thick and coating the beef fingers almost like a coating, rather than a sauce like consistency.
Once cooked, I like to cool and refrigerate for at least 24 hours to let the flavours develop.
To serve, re-heat, stir through some chopped coriander, give it a squeeze of lime and serve with steaming jasmine rice.
Don’t be shy……..lick the plate when you’re done !