Indonesian Beef Stew, Rendang

Rendang, an Indonesian spicy red meat dish originating from the Minangkabau (City of Padang), Indonesia. It has been months that I’ve been craving to eat this dish, and I even went to some Indonesian restaurants in Paris and Rome to eat this particular dish, yet I did find them quite authentic enough for my Indonesian mouth.

So, then I forced myself to make this food. I’m not exagerating but you need patient and courage to make rendang for following reasons. First, it is not easy to get the ingredients when you live in Europe unless you live in a big cities. Secondly, it takes mininum 4 hours to cook properly the dishes.

Thankfully, all the efforts were worth it! I even cannot believe myself that I am able to cook one of the most delicious and complicated dish to make.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 4 hours

The Ingredients

Besides meat and coconut milk, the main ingredients of rendang are spicy paste and spices. I suggest that you have a blender or you can do it also with a mortar, but obviously it will take more time.

How to make Spicy Paste:

It is simple as putting all the below ingredients on the blender, and let the blender does the job.

  • 6 French Shallots
  • 10 cloves of Garlic
  • 100 gr of red chilies (if you cannot find fresh chilies, you can use chilie paste or purée de piment or sambel oelek). If you use chilie paste, no need to add any salt, as chilie paste is usually already salty)






  • 10 candle nuts (you can find it in Asian store or Amazon)
  • 2 cm ginger
  • 2 cm galangal
  • 2 cm of turmeric or 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon coriander powder)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (~ 3/4 teaspoon cumin powder)
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt (not necessary if you use chilie paste)

Other Ingredients:

  • 700 gr of meat (You can find brisket cut, or if you live in France, where they cut the meat differently, you can get an entrecôte or ribeye), cut about 3 cm long.
  • 300 gr of baby potatoes (wash and leave the skin on)
  • 4 tablespoon vegetable oil or coconut oil
  • 5 lime leaves (you can find it in Asian store)
  • 4 lemongrass bruised and knotted
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 2 star anise
  • 800 ml coconut milk (usually 2 cans/box of coconut milk)
  • 1200 ml water
  • 2 teaspoon of tamarind


  1. Heat oil in a wok/large pot over a medium-high heat and add the spice paste, lime leaves, lemongrass, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, crushed cardamom pods, tamarind and star anise until fragrant.
  2. Add meat cubes, stir until the meat change into brown. Add the potatoes. Stir it well.
  3. Add coconut milk and water. Stir to mix well, and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat a bit (still above simmering point) and left the wok uncovered. Cook until the liquid is reduced and thickened.
  5. Once the liquid has thickened, reduce the heat and simmer until all the liquid is almost gone and the beef looks a bit dark. Also, you should see oil separates from the sauce.
  6. Remove from heat and serve with some rice.


Beef rendang actually tastes better with storage time, so if you are patient, try serving this the next day.

2 thoughts on “Indonesian Beef Stew, Rendang

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