Beef Rendang With Pineapple Salad

Spencer Lengsfield
by Spencer Lengsfield
4 Servings
3 hr 45 min

Rendang is an Indonesian curry of slowly braised meat, often beef, in a spicy coconut milk sauce. There are two types, a wet and dry rendang, depending on how long the dish is cooked for and how much liquid is left. This version is closer to a dry rendang, but if you want a more saucy version you can either cook it for less time or add more coconut milk. I served it here with white basmati rice, roti canai, and a pineapple salad. The salad isn't a traditional Indonesian dish, but is inspired by rujak, a fruit and vegetable salad.

After almost 2 hours of cooking

Beef Rendang With Pineapple Salad
Recipe details
  • 4  Servings
  • Prep time: 45 Minutes Cook time: 3 Hours Total time: 3 hr 45 min
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For the spice paste
  • 1 White onion, roughly chopped (red would also work)
  • 6 Garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 Large red chillies, roughly chopped
  • 1 Inch of ginger, peeled
  • 1 Lemongrass stalk, bashed and outer layer peeled off
  • A splash of water
For the rest of the rendang
  • 1 kg (2lb 3 1/4 oz) Braising beef (I diced up a roasting joint)
  • 400 g (14 oz) Coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp Tamarind paste
  • ½ tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Fish sauce
  • ½ tsp Turmeric
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 2 Star anise
  • 3 Kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 heaped tablespoon Brown sugar
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Salt to taste
  • Splash of oil
  • Lime wedges, cilantro, and white rice to serve
For the pineapple salad
  • 500 g (1lb 1 3/4 oz) Pineapple, diced
  • ½ Cucumber, middle removed and diced
  • ½ Red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Red chilli, finely chopped
  • Handful of coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Fish sauce
  • 1 tsp Tamarind paste
  • 2 Limes, juiced

Start by preparing your spice paste. In a blender or food processor, blend together your onion, chillies, garlic, ginger, lemongrass. Add just a splash of water, enough to help it blend properly.
Next, pat dry and season your beef chunks with salt and pepper. I kept my chunks at around 2-3inches. In a large pot, add a splash of oil and turn to a medium/high heat. Brown your beef in batches, and set aside.
Add your spice paste to the pot, scraping up any fond from the bottom. Cook this until it just starts to darken, around 5 minutes.
Return the beef to the pot, and add your coconut milk, turmeric, tamarind, soy, fish sauce, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon stick, star anise, bay leaf, and kaffir lime leaves.
Stir well so everything is incorporated, then reduce the heat to low and put a lid on the pot, leaving it slightly ajar. Leave this to cook until the beef is really tender and the coconut milk has cooked off, this will take between 2 and 3 hours. Check on it every so often, giving it a stir, to make sure nothing's sticking.
Meanwhile, prepare your salad. Whisk together the lime juice, tamarind, fish sauce, brown sugar, and minced chilli. Dice your pineapple and cucumber, slice your red onion, and chop your coriander. Pour the dressing over the salad, and leave to sit until you're ready to serve.
If your beef is starting to look really tender but you've still got a lot of liquid, remove the lid for the last part of the cooking process. Equally, if it looks like your sauce has cooked off before the beef is done, top it up with some water or stock. The rate at which the liquid cooks off will depend on a variety of things like your hob, the size and shape of the pot you're using etc - so just keep an eye on it.
Once everything is super thick, tender, and dark, you're ready to serve. Don't forget to remove the cinnamon, bay and kaffir leaves, and star anise.
Serve with your salad, rice, roti canai, lime wedges, cilantro, and extra sliced chilli if you want some more heat. Enjoy!
Spencer Lengsfield
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  • Bobbie Bobbie on Jul 17, 2021

    What can I due if I do not have any Coconut Oil ? Can I substitute it with something else?