Tuesday, January 23, 2007
This is a simplified version of the exorbitantly rich and complex Indonesian beef curry, beef rendang, a signature dish of West Sumatra. Beef rendang is simmered slowly in a ginger, chili, lemongrass paste and coconut milk broth until most of the liquid has cooked down and you are left with an intensely flavored semi-dry mixture. It is a celebration dish in Malay cuisine and can be served as a main course over rice or as a side with other Malaysian food.
The ingredients for my beef rendang can be found easily at most big supermarkets. I have substituted lime zest for the Kaffir lime leaves, a traditional ingredient which is added when the beef begins its long simmer and light unsweetened coconut milk to shave off a few calories.
For the Red Chili Paste
3-5 fresh red hot chilies
3 shallots, peeled and sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, sliced
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons paprika
For the Beef Mixture
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 cups light unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup sugar
2 pounds beef, chuck or top round, cut into 1-inch pieces
Zest of 1 lime
Cooked white rice for serving
Toasted unsweetened coconut, cilantro and golden raisins for garnish
Combine paste ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. If too thick,add a tablespoon or two or water.
In a wide saute pan deep enough to hold the liquids, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the red chili paste and cook, stirring until the paste is aromatic. Add coconut milk, chicken broth and sugar, cook for 10 minutes. Lower heat to simmer and add the beef and lime zest. Simmer uncovered about 1 1/2 hours. Lower heat and cover the pan, cooking about 30 more minutes until sauce is very thick.
Gadget by The Blog Doctor.