Friday 2 December 2011

Still Slow-cooking

I am excited to say that Russel and I seem to be getting on better everyday.  I think this really is the beginning of a deep and meaningful relationship. We have just had the most fantastic Beef Randang, the only trouble is that I am so full now that it is really difficult to think about it.  I think it is always best to food-blog hungry!  I was worried when I saw the recipe that it was going to be over coconutty and sweet but with the balance of the spice and the sourness of the tamarind and lime, it all mellowed into a totally deliciousness and it was super easy to make.  The original recipe I found did seem to involve a lot of pounding, first to tenderise the meat and then to grind the spices, in a pestle and mortar, but I am a modern girl who is short on time, so my method involves such new found tecnology as a hand-blender and a coffee grinder, both of which it suddenly occurs to me, I have failed yet to name.  With the aid of these devices, this recipe took me no time at all to prepare and get into my slow-cooker.  Naturally, I let Russel do the rest of the work.

Beef Rendang
If you do not have a slow-cooker, just cook slowly on the stove top for 2-3 hours.
1 onion, or 4 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped 
1 really generous knob of fresh ginger 
8 cloves of 
garlic, peeled 
2 lemongrass stalk, tough outer layer removed and roughly chopped 
1 tsp turmeric 
2 tsp dried chilli flakes

2 tbsp sunflower oil 
2 cinnamon stick 
2 tsp cardamom seeds, ground finely
1 kg braising steak, cut into 2cm/1inch cubes 
6 kaffir lime leaves 
1 lime juiced
2 tins 400ml/14fl oz coconut milk 
2 tbsp of tamarind, seeds removed and sieved
½ a coconut, grated
1 bunch of Coriander

For the Rendang paste whiz up  the onion, ginger, galangal, garlic, lemongrass, turmeric and chillies into a food processor. I used a hand blender. Blend to form a smooth purée. Add one of the tablespoons of oil if necessary. Heat a wok and add the oil. Season the beef with salt and cook in small batches. Fry until golden brown.  Add the paste, stir well and fry for a few minutes more. Add the cardamom and the cinnamon sticks broken in half and pour over the coconut milk and tamarind purée and bring to a gentle simmer, add the kaffir lime leaves.  Season with salt.  Tip into the slow-cooker and cook for 6 hours on low or 4 hours on high.  The meat should be really tender and the sauce really reduced and rich. 

Meanwhile toast the coconut flakes in a dry pan. Keep a close eye on this, as it will burn really quickly. It should be a lovely deep brown colour when ready. Blend to a powder in a coffee grinder. When the Rendang is ready stir into the mixture making sure it is well mixed in. Add the lime juice and check the seasoning.  It should be deliciously spicy, sweet and sour.

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