The Ultimate Beef Rendang

. August, 2019
Photography by Sarah Tuck.
The Ultimate Beef Rendang

Patience is a virtue. Here, your wait will be amply rewarded with a deliciously aromatic beef rendang curry. Serve with rice and flatbreads or simply with just-cooked fresh green beans.

This recipe is from Sarah Tuck's book Coming Unstuck.

Serves: 6


Spice paste
3 onions, roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic
3 tbsp chopped peeled fresh ginger
5 red chillis, roughly chopped 2 stalks of lemongrass, outer leaves removed, roughly chopped
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp ground cardamom
2 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
1.8kg stewing steak such as gravy beef, blade or cross cut
2 ½ cups (625ml) coconut milk
2 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp tamarind paste
2 tbsp brown sugar
3 kaffir lime leaves, whole
⅓ cup good-quality crunchy peanut or cashew butter
½ cup coriander leaves and 1/4 cup Asian fried shallots to garnish
Rice and flatbreads to serve


Put the spice paste ingredients in a food processor and whizz to form a smooth-ish paste. Heat the oil in large heavy- bottomed pot and add the spice paste. Cook over a gentle heat for 10 minutes.

While it’s cooking, cut the beef into 4cm-5cm pieces then add to the paste. Add three-quarters of the coconut milk and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook over a very gentle heat for 5 hours, stirring occasionally. During this time lay a wooden spoon across the top of the pot and rest the lid on it so that a little steam can escape.

After 5 hours, stir in the remaining coconut milk, tamarind paste, brown sugar, kaffir lime leaves and peanut or cashew butter. Cook a further 20 minutes, remove kaffir lime leaves and serve, garnished with coriander and Asian fried shallots, with rice and flatbreads of your choice.