Indonesian Beef Rendang

by | Aug 7, 2023 | Indonesian, Padang Food, Recipes, Uncategorised | 0 comments

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Beef Rendang

 Before we dive into this luscious Beef Rendang recipe, let’s chat a bit about its roots. Ever heard of Padang food? Oh, you’re in for a treat!

Originating from the vibrant city of Padang in West Sumatra, this culinary tradition is the brainchild of the Minangkabau people. Imagine a tapestry of rich flavours, tingling spices, and dishes so aromatic they’ll transport you straight to the bustling streets of Indonesia. Coconut milk, chilies, and a medley of spices? That’s the soul of Padang cuisine right there.

And let’s talk about the unique “Nasi Padang” experience. Walk into a Padang restaurant, and you’ll be greeted with a spread of pre-cooked dishes. It’s like a visual buffet, but you only pay for what you eat. Neat, right?

Now, Beef Rendang isn’t just another dish on the menu; it’s THE dish. Think of it as the crown jewel of Padang cuisine. Traditionally reserved for special occasions, it’s a plate full of honor, festivity, and a whole lot of yumminess.

So, as you embark on this Rendang adventure, know that you’re not just cooking; you’re stepping into a story filled with cultural wonders and age-old traditions. Ready to travel via your taste buds? Let’s get cooking!

  • Author: Lisa McLean
  • Prep Time: 25 ms
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours


Units Scale

For the Bumbu Spice Paste:

  • 810 Red Asian shallots (or substitute with 1 large red onion)
  • 6 Large red chillies (seeded for a milder heat)
  • 6 Garlic cloves
  • 6 cm Fresh galangal rhizome
  • 6 cm Fresh ginger rhizome
  • 6 cm Fresh turmeric rhizome
  • 3/4 Nutmeg (grated)
  • 4 Cloves (ground)

For the Beef Rendang:

  • 1 kg Beef brisket or chuck steak (cut into 3 cm chunks)
  • 1 Tbs Jaggery or dark palm sugar
  • 2 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Kafir lime leaves (for that tangy zest)
  • 2 Turmeric leaves (optional, but recommended for an authentic touch)
  • 1 Pandan (cut into 5 cm lengths, for a sweet aroma)
  • 1 Lemongrass stick (trimmed and bruised to release its citrusy notes)
  • 1 Cinnamon quill (for a hint of warmth)
  • 800 ml Coconut cream (for a creamy richness)


  • Preparing the Bumbu Spice Paste: In a food processor, combine the shallots, red chillies, garlic, galangal, ginger, turmeric, grated nutmeg, and ground cloves. Process until you achieve a smooth paste. This aromatic blend is the heart of your Rendang.
  • Browning the Beef: In a large pot or Dutch oven, brown the beef chunks over medium heat. Remove and set aside.
  • Building Flavors: In the same pot, introduce your freshly made Bumbu spice paste. Fry until fragrant, which usually takes about 4-5 minutes.
  • Infusing with Ingredients: Add the beef back into the pot, along with jaggery, salt, kafir lime leaves, turmeric leaves, pandan, lemongrass, and cinnamon quill. Stir to combine, ensuring the beef is well-coated with the spices.
  • Slow-cook in Coconut Cream: Pour in the coconut cream, and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally. Cook until the beef is tender, and the sauce thickens, which might take about 2 to 2.5 hours.
  • Finishing Touch: Once the beef is melt-in-mouth tender and the sauce has reduced to a rich, caramelized consistency, check for seasoning. Adjust salt or sweetness if needed.
  • Serve: Serve your Beef Rendang with steamed jasmine rice and chilli sambal, maybe a boiled egg and some greens. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves or lime wedges if desired.

There you have it – a plateful of Indonesian history, culture, and sheer culinary delight! Whether it’s a festive occasion or a weekend family meal, Beef Rendang promises to be the star of the show. Selamat makan! (Enjoy your meal!)

Keywords: Indonesian Beef Rendang

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