Rendang the most popular dish in Southeast Asia and the number one national dish of Indonesia. Rendang hails from Padang, the capital and largest city of the Indonesian province of West Sumatra.
CNN scoured the planet to create the list of 50 most delicious foods in 2011, and Rendang took the top position on the list.
Traditionally, rendang is a beef stew that does not have sauce. The process requires some patience (up to 6 hours) as the sauce should be entirely absorbed by the meat, giving it a dark color. When some of the thick coconut sauce remains, the dish is called kalio. If there is a lot of sauce the dish is called gulai.
2 lbs chuck steak or round-eye beef
7 onions chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
5 tbsp sambal oelek
1 piece ginger root of about 1.5 inches long, sliced
5 Indonesian bay leaves (omit if you cannot find it)
1 rounded teaspoon ground turmeric
1 piece of galangal root, 1.5 inches long
1 stalk lemongrass, use bottom part 2 inches
4 kaffir lime leaves
2 cups coconut milk
Cube the meat into 3/4 inch chunks.
With a mortar and pestle, crush the inion, sambal oelek, ginger, salam and turmeric
Place the meat and the spice mixture into a work with 8 cups of water over high heat
Add the galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and the coconut milk to the wok
Ones the sauce boils, turn it down to low and continue to simmer, stirring regularly to prevent burning.
Remove from heat when all the liquid has been absorbed and allow to cool.
If you are interested in digging deeper into the science of Rendang, I can recommend the cookbook Rendang: Minang Legacy to the World by my friend Ms. Reno Andam Suri.