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!