Senin, 11 Maret 2013

Beef Rendang Recipe With Soy Puffs and Hard-Boiled-Egg

I believe a lot of Indonesian dishes are gluten free. One of these famous dishes is Rendang. The good news is that I just learned how to cook Rendang yesterday.
It is an Indonesian dish from Sumatra Island that was voted the best food in the world (read here). The flavor of rendang unfolds in layers, like a stick of Willy Wonka's three-course-dinner chewing gum. When I was eating it, my taste buds were detecting zingy flavors of ginger, lemon grass, also savory beef. As I continued to chew, the taste of creamy coconut milk hug my tongue.

Today is a rainy day, on the 10th day of March 2013, and we have left over rendang from yesterday. That means this rendang tastes much better today.

Before refrigeration was available, when wealthy Minangkabau (a tribe in Sumatra) farmers dispatched a cow for a special occasion it was often turned into rendang. With its blistering spiciness (capsaicin is an antimicrobial), low moisture content and high fat content, rendang provided a way to make the kill last for weeks in the sweltering Indonesian heat.

I like it better if it's 'dry' and nice brown (see pictures), after nearly all liquid has evaporated, and the remaining sauce is caramelized on the pan, that creates extremely flavorful coating for the beef, soy puffs (tofu), and hard boiled eggs;  while my husband likes it when the sauce was more watery (look like Terik dish from Java Island).

To serve Rendang, the companion of steamed rice, casava leaves in light coconut milk / asian cabbage with long bean in light coconut milk, sambal ijo (green chili), and sator nuts (petai/pete) are the best. Or if you'd like it just with steamed rice, it's good too!
If you're vegan, you can use this recipe by eliminate the beef & egg, use vegan meat, and cook it on a large pan.

2 pounds chuck roast beef or beef shanks, cut into thick slices
1 pack of soy puffs (24 pcs small soy puffs)
6 hard boiled eggs
2 inch galangal, sliced into thick coins
1 can of coconut milk ( I used 5.6 fl oz = 165 ml)
2 tbs wet tamarind, meat only
2 stalks lemongrass (white part only, smashed with the side of the knife)
5 kaffir lime leaves
10 pcs candle nuts, dry roasted on the pan until golden brown
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 inch ginger, sliced into thick coins
8 large cloves garlic roughly chopped
2 red onion or 10 shallots, roughly chopped
2 tbs chili pepper flakes or to taste (I used about ½ tablespoons)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon palm sugar ( I used 1 round block, roughly chopped)
Salt to taste 
*⅔ cup of water (for pressure cooker)

1. Add all the candle nuts, turmeric, ginger, garlic, red onion/shallot, chili pepper, and olive oil to a food processor and run until there are no clumps left and you have a smooth spice paste.
2. If you use pressure cooker : Put the beef, water, coconut milk, and spice paste into the pressure cooker and set for 8-10 minutes at 40 psi. (Mixture 1)
If you use large pan (no lid) : Heat the pan over medium high heat. Put in the beef, coconut milk, and spice paste, then cook until the beef is lightly brown and sit for about 30 minutes, then skip the step number 3.
3. Heat the large pan over medium high heat, pour all of the Mixture 1 onto the pan.
4. Add remaining ingredients except palm sugar, soy puffs, and eggs. Let it simmer for another 15 minutes.
5. Turn down the heat to medium low, and stirring by folding them with flat utensil regularly until most of the moisture has evaporated. You'll see there should be quite a bit of oil in the pan (from coconut milk, candle nut, and mostly the meat) so you're essentially 'frying' the sauce and concentrating the flavors. 
6. Add the palm sugar, soy puffs, and hard-boiled-eggs into the pan. Continue stir the rendang periodically until the colour turn darker.
7. The rendang is done when there is almost no sauce left and the meat is darker brown. Ideally you'll let this sit overnight (I put it in the fridge) for the flavors to evenly distribute into the meat. During this time, the flavors will deepen. 

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