I grew up eating Malay food thanks to my ibu (mother) who was great at making all sorts of curries, sambal udang (sambal prawns), and even kueh kueh. When I came over to the UK, I found myself missing Malay food a great deal. Although the many Malaysian and Indonesian restaurants could readily serve up a nasi lemak or two, what I’d been missing wasn’t just another conventional curry. I craved for ibu‘s Beef Rendang, a special treat, her signature dish that she made very rarely due to the extensive preparation and long hours that went into the dish. I wanted to recreate a taste of her spicy, rich and warming rendang… And perhaps find a way to recreate memories of home as well? :)
And I’d been hankering after rendang for months. Really, hankering. I’d bought the dessicated coconut months ahead, bought a supersized carton of coconut milk, stored the spices away in the cupboard, and all that was left was the… Beef, of course. One fine afternoon when I finally decided to make this, I realized I didn’t actually have enough spices to make up a whole pot of it, so I used a premix alongside my own spices, coconut milk, shallots etc. (Blasphemy!) This is why I am not writing the recipe yet. Besides, I used braising steak here, not the ideal beef shin cut with all the sinewy-soft tendons and melt-in-your-mouth fat, and the beef was less tender than I wanted it to be despite slow cooking for almost 4 hours. Oh yes, and I slow cooked it instead of frying them dry till the end. Oops, really not the most authentic cooking methods here!
Nonetheless, it’s a great first time — And I look forward to perfecting my ibu‘s recipe as soon as I get everything right. :)
Posted by #phangchewfat