This is a simplified version of the Indonesian stew called rendang, using readily available ingredients. The prep time for this dish is quick, as this is a recipe that does not require browning the meat.
Type of dish: Entree
Equipment: Food processor or blender, large oven-safe pot
Servings: Makes 2 to 4 servings
- 2 lbs. beef stew cubes
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
- 3 stalks lemongrass
- 6 shallots or 1 1/2 red onions, roughly chopped (or substitute any onion if more readily available)
- 2 red chilies (this was made with Fresno), seeded and roughly chopped *Note: use any red chilies; add more or less to adjust spice level. Double amount for a spicier finished dish. If using dried chilies, soak just covered in hot water for 15 minutes prior to chopping.
- 4 large cloves garlic, smashed and peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
- 5 cloves
- 3 kaffir lime leaves, fresh or dried (substitute the zest and juice of 1 lime if not available)
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt or to taste
- Preheat the oven to 300 F.
- Place the following in a food processor or blender (or by hand in a mortar and pestle): shallots, garlic, ginger, chilies, and cloves. Pulse until combined into a puree.
- In an oven-safe pot with lid, add the beef and coconut milk. Stir in the puree from the food processor/blender.
- Stir in the turmeric, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
- Prepare the lemongrass stalks: Peel off the tough outer layer and discard. Cut off the stem at the end and cut off the green tops to end up with about a ten inch piece of lemongrass. Use each stalk whole. Place the stalks on the cutting board and use a kitchen tool (potato masher/pestle/etc) to bang on them, as you would if they would fit in a mortar and pestle, to release the flavor a bit. Place them in the stew whole and you will remove them later as you would a bay leaf.
- Add in the fresh or dried kaffir lime leaves.
- Bring the stew to a gentle simmer.
- Cover and place in the oven for 2 hours and 15 minutes. Stir once or twice during the slow cooking process.
- Carefully bring the pot back to the stovetop. *Remember that the handles are hot and use a potholder until they cool.*
- Uncover pot. With tongs, remove the lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves, and discard.
- Bring the stew to a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring often, until meat is fork tender and sauce has fully reduced away, about 45 minutes more. Stir constantly toward the end of the cooking process.