Beef Rendang


On Sundays, our little family along with my in-laws, attend the 6pm mass. After mass, we head to the mall or a restaurant around our area for dinner.  Last week, in an effort to avoid the crowds and save a little money (cause we realized we've been eating out so often), we decided that for at least 1-2 Sundays each month we'll just cook and eat dinner in my in-law's home. 

While walking through the mall one day, I got a whiff of this heavenly scent from one of the weekend stalls there. They were selling lobster curry balls and beef rendang. My husband and I loooove the combination of coconut milk and curry so we were immediately drawn to it. We ordered the lobster curry balls and considered taking home some beef rendang. Although, we found that the beef rendang was quite pricey so we didn't get it. I couldn't stop thinking about the scent and I knew that I already had the ingredients to make it at home, so I got to work!


This dish is not something I commonly make. Plus, patience is key in making stews such as Beef Rendang. I usually like making quick-fix meals throughout the week but for Sunday dinner with the family, I was definitely willing to make an exception. 

Quick tip: if you feel that the meat doesn't become tender as quickly, I put in a metal spoon inside the pot. Laugh if you will, call it school if you want to but I've been doing this to help with the process of tenderizing the meat for years. In my book, it works! LOL! ;)


Beef Rendang


  • 1.5 kg beef short ribs, cubed
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, white part only
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 3 star anise
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1-2 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. coco sugar
  • 4 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp. tamarind paste
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves

Spice Paste:

  • 1 Tbsp. red pepper flakes
  • 5 stalks lemongrass, white part only and roughly cut
  • 1 head garlic, peeled
  • 2 inches ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric


  1. In a blender, combine all spice paste ingredients and pulse until it forms into a paste.
  2. Heat the oil in a deep pot, add the spice paste, cinnamon, ground cloves, star anise, and cardamom pods and fry for about a minute or until fragrant. Add the beef, fish sauce and pounded lemongrass and stir for another minute.

  3. Add the coconut milk, tamarind paste, water. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium heat, stirring frequently until the meat is almost cooked. Add the kaffir lime leaves, coco sugar and stir.

  4. Lower the heat and cover. Simmer for 2 hours covered until the meat is really tender. Simmer for another 30 minutes uncovered. Serve immediately over steamed black rice (Basmati rice and regular rice works too).