Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Brahim's Beef Rendang

Hello all,

Back with a recipe, as promised. But before I get into it, I'd like to take this chance to thank every one of you who has "Liked" The Hungry Excavator's Facebook Page. I really appreciate it and I truly hope I get to share a meal with each and every one of you one day.

Not many of you know this, but the reason why I'm so humbled is because this blog has actually been around for awhile, collecting dust, mainly. As much as I've always wanted to, I've never actually had the chance to blog recipes/reviews/pictures properly because I've constantly been too swamped by the amount of coursework I get as an Engineering student for many years.

It wasn't until recently about a month ago, that I finally made an active decision to change that and dedicate more time to do things here the way I've always envisioned to from the start =)

Thus, you can say that "The Hungry Excavator 2.0" was re-launched with my first "proper" post, beginning with the Carlton Community Cookbook Photoshoot about a month ago. And things could not have been better since then. I'm so happy that I'm finally doing this right and am enjoying every minute of it!

So, before I do anything else, I want to thank you all for your support through this journey and for growing with me as I try my best to improve in my ways of sharing Life* with people everywhere through Food. I hope you all come back and feel inspired in one way or another through this space.

Also, please feel free to leave a comment cause your words really do make my day =)


Anyway, back to the post. This Beef Rendang Recipe is really delightful. One of the many recipes that I've tried by Ellie of Gourmand Recipes. I love it so much because it's easy and I've always, always preferred my Rendangs dry, less saucy and not to have coconut milk. The softened kerisik (after cooking) is delicious and gives an additional texture to the dish, which I absolutely love.

When buying desiccated coconut, pick the finest one you can find in your local Asian grocery, they're so cheap. I think they've got two kinds: "shredded coconut" or "coconut paste", I used the latter because it's finer and easier to cook. I think the former is more for things like Lamingtons... I think.

Bought my paste and grated coconut from Yahweh Asian Grocery, near Melb Uni

And before you shun me for not making my rendang from scratch, let me explain. I know that I won't be making my own rempah paste anytime soon because of uni, but this is a very, very easy and equally satisfying alternative. I'll save that homemade stuff for the holidays.

But for now, don't beat yourself up for using store bought pastes. Because not everyone always has the time. My recipes are mostly targeted for quick, easy weeknight meals anyway (though I will share more fun, experimental recipes from time to time).

So when I actually DO use store-bought products, I make sure that they're good quality, such as these. For Rendang, I only use the brand, Brahim's, because I found it to give better flavour. Though if I were to do things differently, I would soak a few small dried chillies in hot water, pound them and add them to the paste. Only because I did find it a bit mild and I like my Rendang piping hot.

Overall, very tasty and happy with this nonetheless and I'm sure you'll love it too. I made this for a friend and we both enjoyed it a lot. Do try and take good care, y'all! =)

Brahim's Beef Rendang Recipe
(adapted from this recipe by the former Almost Bourdain)


1 packets Brahim's Rendang Paste
450g beef (brisket, gravy or chuck steak)
1 cup desiccated / grated coconut
2 cups hot boiling water
6-8 cloves garlic, cut into slivers
4 tbsp oil


To make kerisik: Fry the grated coconut in a non-stick frying pan (without oil) on low heat. Keep stirring so all the grated coconut are browned evenly. It will take about 5 minutes (depending on size) to turn it into deep golden brown and you can smell the aroma. Dish and set aside.

Cut the beef in 5 cm / 2" cubes. Heat oil in a wok, add garlic and fry until slightly browned. Add beef and fry until all sides are browned. Remove beef from wok.

Add rendang paste to the wok and cook until the paste is bubbling. Add the kerisik and hot boiling water. Bring to a boil and add the beef and continue cooking until it's boiling. Turn down the heat, cover with lid and let it simmer in low heat for 2 hours. Stir it occasionally. If liquid dries up, add a bit more water.

After 2 hours of simmering, the sauce should be thickened and the meat should be very tender. Now turn back to medium-high heat, lid off and continue to stir-fry it until the sauce is completely thickened and dried. Serve with steamed rice, roti or nasi kunyit.

2 long hours of patience graciously rewarded =)

My dinner that night -- Brahim's Rendang with Stir-fried Celery with Prawns =)

In Malay, we say "Sedaaaap~" which means, "deliciouuus~"… Nom nom nom… Ciao!


Lisa H. said...

Bravo Winston... for the rendang
Its good to see young man in the kitchen...

Winston said...

Hahaha... Thanks for that!! It's funny cause no one's actually put it that way. Thanks so much, Lisa! I can't wait to try more of your Malay recipes in the holidays, they look so darn good!! =)

Vee said...

Looks pretty good! I consider rendang a textbook dish - because I literally learnt it in school! And we got examined on it too. So...yeah I should pit my version against yours. ;)

Winston said...

Wuuu wahhhh you had a cooking exam? Was this for some Home Economics class (or KHB) last time? Yeah you do make it to compare! I don't think there's a better or worse recipe, cause Rendang can vary quite a bit for ppl so it's a bit different. But for easy weeknight version, this one definitely works for me! =) I hope to try your version next time too! =D

penny aka jeroxie said...

Welcome back to the blogging world! :)

Winston said...

Thanks, Penny!! Glad to be a part of the blogging world with amazing peeps like you. Makes it fun, everyday! =D

Anonymous said...

I'm such a beef fan, and this recipe is a dream come true. I love the fact that most of your creations are Malay dishes that are totally unknown in France :) I don't think we have a lot of Malay restaurants in my country either (except in Paris of course), so every post on this blog is like a whole new world of culinary possibilities, at least from my very French never-left-Europe perspective. It looks amazing and I think I might try it out, once I get my hands on the right ingredients.
Your blog is inspiring in so many ways and I highly encourage you to continue, whatever the cost, because there are people who really love what you do (me included).
Oh and BTW, Facebook page duly liked. =D
Take care! xxx
- Marie-Anne

Winston said...

Awwww Marie-Anne, you have no idea how much your comment means to me..... So touched and encouraged by your words!! As much as I love food and sharing about them, it's the friendships that I've formed with amazing people like you that really make me enjoy food blogging so much and become passionate about it.

I feel the exact same way about reading posts from your blog! I've never been to anywhere further than Australia from my home country of Malaysia, so my worldview of food can be rather narrow-minded, so that's why I love reading your blog! Thank God for the Internet, yeah?! Cause now I get to expose myself to amazing food and recipes from your side of the world and hopefully one day I get to experience Europe for myself! It'll definitely be a dream come true.

Keep having fun with blogging, because you've got one big fan all the way from Melbourne. Also, let me know how the recipe goes for you and if you have any questions about the ingredients/recipe at all, I'd be more than glad to help. You take good care too, yeh. Thanks again for everything! =)))

Sarah said...

Glad you re-launced your blog...and glad I found you on facebook as well. This recipe looks fantastic and its going to earn me total brownie points with my husband-thanks for sharing it!

Michelle Chin said...

this looks absolutely delicious!!!! <3

Winston said...

@sarah: Hey thanks, Sarah! Really appreciate it. I'm glad to be back and it's sorta like breathing a huge sigh of relief because it's FINALLY starting to look like how I've always imagined it to and it's fun! Thanks heaps for your FB like! I enjoy reading your blog too and it's fun to be connected to talented ppl like you halfway across the world! Let me know how the rendang works for you, I'm sure you and the hub very very happy =D

@michelle: Hey, Mich! It really is... I hope you get to make it for your sister too. Makes for a great "uni" food cause it's great on a weeknight and even better as leftover the next day! =D

Heidi - Apples Under My Bed said...

yum! thanks for the past tip, will try that brand. Malaysian food is very new to me, LOVE it, but welcome all the guidance I can get!
Heidi xo

Winston said...

My pleasure, Heidi! Glad you like Malaysian food...! I find it quite interesting because a lot of it is a combination of 3 distinct cultures, i.e Malay, Chinese and Indian. Good luck in your attempts in Malaysian cooking! I'm always keen to try new foods too =D

leaf (the indolent cook) said...

Hey, I'm a fan of Brahim's! It's helped me create many a delicious meal during my uni days. Keep up the great work on your blog! :)

Winston said...

Thanks, Leaf! Appreciate it... Yeah it's been great, and I'll always remember you as one of the first few friends I made on this blog haha...! Brahim's is great! There's a lot of dishes that fall under my "uni food" category and this is definitely one of them. Glad to hear it falls under yours too! Haha =)

Michelle Chin said...

i made something like this before but just didn't like the idea that the whole apartment smells like rendang. not that the smell is bad but i have to blame my nose for it.

imo, my house must smell like nothing.

Winston said...

oh ok... compared to other dishes this is still ok cause its covered most of cooking time. but yup... it can be a bit annoying when a hse smells after cooking. im normally okay with smell because no matter what i cook it normally goes away by the morning =)

i guess its worse for some ppl depending on layout? i hope smell doesn't stop you from too many recipes, mich! its times like these when we have to make do with apt kitchens in aus as compared to big open kitchens in msia, don't we ;p

The InTolerant Chef ™ said...

We love a good rendang, and sometimes it is hard to find time to make a paste from scratch. Glad you've found a good substitute.

Winston said...

That is true...! Sometimes it really doesn't hurt to use a reliable product to help us out in the kitchen haha. Not enough time in a day to do everything yourself! It's great that you make this for your family too. A big pot of this, some stir fried veg, steamed rice and youre set. I love reading your dinner recipes, theyre so tasty and "doable"! =D

Shu Han said...

i'm glad you re-launched your blog! it's been a great read for me! the rendang looks good! though i'm usually dubious of readymade pastes, this actually looks pretty good, so i'll keep that in mind for rainy days;)

Winston said...

thanks for your compliment, shu han! i enjoy your blog a lot as well and your recipes never fail to impress me! awesome stuff! and yeah, its definitely sth to keep for the rainy days but most definitely make your own if you can! i like how theres almost nth store bought in your blog. i still need to make your sambal recipe when im back in msia! haha

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you are back in Thr kitchen, Winston. I am proud to read your have tried my 'short-cut' beef rending recipe. Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the mention :)

Winston said...

Pleasure is all mine, Ellie! Your site has always been such a source of kitchen inspiration to me. I hope you won't be surprised to see a number your recipes recreated on this blog, they've been truly been a blessing to me and hopefully many others as well. Thanks again! =)

Lauren aka Ms Baklover said...

Thanks for this - I agree, always nice to make things from scratch but time is the issue! I have no problem with packets as long as there are not too many additives in them. I will be sure to search out this brand - my other experiment with rendang paste (forget which brand) was forgettable :-/

Winston said...

Yes, glad you can identify with that too! If we could, we would. But sometimes, there's not enough time to go through the effort. I'm just thankful that these days we are provided with pretty good and reliable alternatives compared to the past! Yeah definitely give this brand a go, I'm quite positive that almost every Asian grocer in Melbourne distributes them! Let me know how it goes if you make them for your family one day. Thanks for your comment! =]

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