Saturday, February 7, 2015

Beef Rendang and A Note From Our Vegas Trip

On our California trip last year, we stopped for a few hours (reached in the evening and left in the morning) in Las Vegas. We have heard a lot of intriguing things about Vegas from our friends and were really excited. But guess what, we did not like it there at all. Among all the glitz and glamour we found no life in this famous city. I was really disappointed and felt lost in the endless alleys of slot machines and poker tables. We prefer visiting natural scenic regions, like the national parks in US. Las Vegas is no doubt "the" spot for all who love to gamble and party, but for us it was a major disappointment.

Panoramic view of the strip captured with my phone

Only saving grace for us was Satay Thai restaurant right in the middle of the city! My husband ordered beef rendang for me. It was so flavorful, tender, juicy and tasted delicious. I just loved it!
Since then I have been planing to cook rendang. I have never cooked beef earlier, so was a little uncertain how it will turn out, or if the proportion of ingredients were correct. But the dish turned out awesome and tasted like a piece of Heaven! We both loved it! I am sharing the recipe below and am sure you will love it too.

Beef - 3 lb (Boneless cut in 2" cubes)
Shallots - 6
Galangal - 1/2"
Ginger - 1/2"
Garlic - 5 (Big cloves)
Lemongrass - 3 Stalks
Kaffir Lime Leaves - 8 (Thinly sliced)
Dry Red Chili - According to your taste
Cumin - 1 Tsp
Coriander - 1 Tsp
Green Cardamom - 5
Clove - 5
Cinnamon - 2" Stick
Star Anise - 1
Nutmeg - 1/2 Tsp
Palm Sugar - 1/2 Tbsp
Tamarind Concentrate - 2 Tsp
Coconut Powder - 1/4 Cup
Coconut Milk - 2&1/2 Cup

Wash the beef thoroughly, pat dry and keep aside.

Dry roast cumin, coriander, green cardamom, clove, cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg together on a low flame until it gives out a nice aroma. Let it cool down to room temperature and then dry grind into a fine powder.
Dry roast coconut powder on low flame (take care not to burn it). Keep aside.
Soak the red chilies in warm water and let it soften. Once they are soft, add them (with the water it was soaked in), shallots, galangal, ginger, garlic, lemongrass and tamarind concentrate in a blender and make a paste. Add more water if needed.
This is a good instructional video on how to use lemongrass.

Heat 5 Tbsp oil in a heavy bottom pan.
To it add the paste, grounded spices and fry for 5 minutes.
Now add the beef cubes, mix and fry for about 10 minutes.
Next add the dry roasted coconut powder and mix well.
Add the kaffir lime leaves, palm sugar, salt and coconut milk. Mix everything thoroughly.
Cover and cook on a low flame until the meat is tender. Keep stirring occasionally to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
It took me 4 hours to cook the meat and get the desired gravy color.

Once the meat is well cooked (the sauce will take on a brown color), turn up the heat. Stir continuously. Reduce the sauce to your desired consistency.

Tips: Beef Rendang tastes better the next day.

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