Beef rendang

Beef rendang

Ben's Meat Bible
Benito Martin


Quantity Ingredient
90g desiccated coconut
100ml coconut oil
60g sambal oelek, (see note)
60g tamarind concentrate
1 heaped tablespoon white sugar, plus extra if needed
1 heaped tablespoon palm sugar or soft brown sugar
5 kaffir lime leaves, 1 finely sliced
1 lemongrass stalk, bruised
800g beef skirt steak, sliced into large chunks, (I like grass-fed steak)
200ml water
800ml coconut milk
1-2 limes, juiced
2 teaspoons fish sauce
steamed rice, to serve

Spice paste

Quantity Ingredient
20g shallots
20g ginger
30g galangal
20g garlic cloves
90g lemongrass stalks, white parts only


  1. Toast the coconut in a small frying pan until golden and aromatic. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Blitz in a food processor until you have fine crumbs and set aside.
  2. Next, make the spice paste. Place the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blitz until you have a fine paste. Add a splash of water if the paste is a little dry.
  3. Heat the coconut oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat and fry the spice paste for 5 minutes, or until aromatic. Add the sambal oelek and tamarind concentrate, then continue to cook until the oil begins to separate from the mixture. Stir in both the sugars, the whole lime leaves and the bruised lemongrass. Add the beef and allow to cook in the paste for 2–3 minutes. Pour in the water and coconut milk and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour, or until the meat is tender.
  4. Season with lime juice to taste, and add the fish sauce and a little more sugar if needed.
  5. Garnish with the reserved finely sliced lime leaf and serve with rice.


  • Sambal oelek is a spicy Indonesian chilli paste that can be found in Asian supermarkets.
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