Rendang (heat 5/10)
This is a delicious, quite dry meat curry, which benefits from being cooked as long as possible. The perfect way to cook venison if you have a surfeit! (35g net)
- 1 packet rendang spice mix (recipe card included!)
- 3 tbsp groundnut or vegetable oil
- 900g/2lb beef or venison (see below for cuts), cut into bite-sized pieces
- 300ml/1/2 pint ‘secret sauce’
- 1 400ml can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 tbsp tamarind paste OR 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 stalk lemongrass (or juice of ½ lime if you are a long way from the shops and don’t grow your own!)
- 6 fresh kaffir lime leaves (see below), optional
- chopped coriander to serve
- Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the spices until fragrant.
- Add the meat and brown all over.
- Add ‘your secret sauce’, the coconut milk and the lemongrass, if using, finely chopped; otherwise add the lime juice.
- Bring to the boil and simmer for half an hour with the lid off. Add the tamarind paste or soy sauce.
- At this point the curry can be turned off and left until 2 to 3 hours before the meal. Bring back to the boil and simmer, or cook in the oven at 170 degrees until the meat is very, very tender. The sauce is supposed to be thick, so cook with the lid off if necessary to evaporate some of the liquid. The meat should be almost falling apart, so allow more rather than less time to cook.
- 20 minutes before serving add the fresh lime leaves, if using.
- Serve with rice and chopped coriander.
- A couple of the ingredients are slightly hard to track down, so this may not be the recipe to try out when backpacking in the Andes! Tamarind is available in paste form in a jar from good supermarkets. You will be lucky to find fresh kaffir lime leaves unless you live near a good Thai supermarket: Garratt Lane in Earlsfield, SW London is where we started, although you can buy a plant and pick your own leaves when ready (try plants4presents.com). The spice mix already includes dried lime leaves, which are slightly easier to find, so go ahead anyway: it will still be delicious!
- The above recipe is the ‘wet’ version of rendang. You can use stewing or roasting joints. A 'dry' version of this dish requires very good quality steak and less cooking, so start with only half the quantity of liquid and add more if required. The flavour, and indeed the final texture, is the same whichever you adopt.
- Liz's sister cooked a side dish of potato rendang, using small new potatoes. If they are larger, chop into bite-sized pieces, then cook from raw in the sauce. This will take a good hour, as it always takes longer than cooking in water. (She also used lemongrass out of a jar!)