Beef Rendang

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 2 hours

Serves 4-6 people


  • 1 1/2 lb beef shanks or short ribs, cut into large cubes

  • 1 stick cinnamon

  • 3 anise stars

  • 1/2 tsp cardamon powder

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp ground coriander seed

  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric

  • 1 can thick coconut milk

  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

  • 2 tsp tamarind puree or tamarind pulp, soaked in 1 tbsp hot water, seeds removed

  • 4 kaffir lime leaves

  • 1 cup water

Spice paste

  • 1-inch fresh ginger

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced

  • 4 large shallots, roughly chopped

  • 8-10 dried chilies/ 3 tbsp chili pepper flakes

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 2 stalks lemongrass, white part only, smashed

  • 1-inch galangal, sliced


  1. Take the spice paste ingredients and blend them in a food processor into a fine paste.

  2. Heat oil in a stew pot, add the spice paste, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and cardamom and stir-fry until aromatic. Add the beef and the pounded lemongrass and stir for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, tamarind juice, water and simmer on medium heat, stirring frequently until the meat is almost cooked. Add the kaffir lime leaves and sugar, stirring to blend well with the meat.

  3. Lower the heat to low, cover with the lid, and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hrs. or until the meat is really tender and the liquids have dried up. Taste, and if necessary, add more salt or sugar, to taste. Serve with rice and enjoy!

*Note: After blending the spice paste ingredients, you can add everything to a slow cooker and cook for 3-5 hours on medium and enjoy.

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