Indonesian beef and coconut curry with fragrant rice

An explosion of spices and flavour, this curry brings a taste of the Far East to your beef. This superb blend of coconut milk, ginger, herbs and lemongrass, often called a rendang, caramelises the beef to produce a mouth-watering curry that is delicious served with fragrant rice and a fresh cucumber and tomato salsa.

4

For the beef curry

  • 2 lemongrass stalks
  • 2 large red chillies, de-seeded and chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 5 cm piece of ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 12 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 x 400g cans coconut milk
  • 1.5 kg Irish braising steak, such as chuck or blade, cut into 5cm pieces
  • 1 tsp salt
  • walnut-sized piece of tamarind pulp
  • 1 tbsp dark muscovado sugar

To serve

  • red chilli and spring onion curls
  • steamed fragrant rice
  • cucumber, tomato, red onion & coriander salsa

For the beef curry

  • 2 lemongrass stalks
  • 2 large red chillies, de-seeded and chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 5 cm piece of ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 12 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 x 400g cans coconut milk
  • 1.5 kg Irish braising steak, such as chuck or blade, cut into 5cm pieces
  • 1 tsp salt
  • walnut-sized piece of tamarind pulp
  • 1 tbsp dark muscovado sugar

To serve

  • red chilli and spring onion curls
  • steamed fragrant rice
  • cucumber, tomato, red onion & coriander salsa

Step 1

Remove the outer leaves from the lemongrass stalks and reserve. Roughly chop the tender core and put into a food processor with the chillies, garlic, fresh ginger, onion, ground ginger, coriander, cumin, black pepper and 4 tablespoons of water. Blend to a smooth paste.

Step 2

Heat the sunflower oil in a large flameproof casserole over a medium heat. Add the cinnamon sticks and cloves and allow them to sizzle for about 1 minute. Add the spice paste and bay leaves and fry gently for 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, the beef, reserved lemongrass leaves and the salt and bring to the boil.

Step 3

Meanwhile, if you are using the tamarind pulp, put in a small bowl with 120ml of warm water and work through with your fingers to release the seeds. Strain the syrupy mixture into a clean bowl and discard the seeds.

Step 4

Lower the heat to a simmer, add the tamarind liquid and muscovado sugar and leave to cook uncovered for 21/2 hours, stirring more frequently as the liquid reduces, until the sauce is well reduced and quite thick and the beef is very tender. Garnish with the chilli and spring onion curls and serve with the fragrant rice and a cucumber, tomato, red onion and coriander salsa.

Step 1

Remove the outer leaves from the lemongrass stalks and reserve. Roughly chop the tender core and put into a food processor with the chillies, garlic, fresh ginger, onion, ground ginger, coriander, cumin, black pepper and 4 tablespoons of water. Blend to a smooth paste.

Step 2

Heat the sunflower oil in a large flameproof casserole over a medium heat. Add the cinnamon sticks and cloves and allow them to sizzle for about 1 minute. Add the spice paste and bay leaves and fry gently for 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, the beef, reserved lemongrass leaves and the salt and bring to the boil.

Step 3

Meanwhile, if you are using the tamarind pulp, put in a small bowl with 120ml of warm water and work through with your fingers to release the seeds. Strain the syrupy mixture into a clean bowl and discard the seeds.

Step 4

Lower the heat to a simmer, add the tamarind liquid and muscovado sugar and leave to cook uncovered for 21/2 hours, stirring more frequently as the liquid reduces, until the sauce is well reduced and quite thick and the beef is very tender. Garnish with the chilli and spring onion curls and serve with the fragrant rice and a cucumber, tomato, red onion and coriander salsa.