Easy Beef Rendang

Beef Rendang is a dish I've wanted to make since I saw Rick Stein cook it on TV a while back. It's a dark, rich, flavour-packed Indonesian curry which is cooked for a long time to make the meat very soft. What better use for a kilo of Scotch Beef diced chuck steak?

I've called this Easy Beef Rendang as I have taken inspiration from Rick Stein's, Hairy Biker's and Merrilees Parker's versions of Beef Rendang to created this recipe, which is authentic, yet easy to make at home with readily available ingredients. It is really delicious.

Overall, Beef Rendang is fairly easy to make and there's not much preparation but the cooking time is quite long. Don't be tempted to skimp on the cooking time, low and slow is what you're after, until the meat is almost falling apart. It feels like ages, but it's worth it. And don't forget to stir!

Beef Rendang is a brilliant recipe for turning a cheaper cut of beef into a feast, which is yet another reason why it is so brilliant. If you invited your friends round and made them this, they would love you forever.

As it's quite rich I would suggest serving Beef Rendang with plain rice and some steamed green vegetables, simply because it's very rich. It's also tastes even better if you make it the day before and re-heat it (add a splash of water first) before serving. 

Easy Beef Rendang

  • Time:  15 mins prep + 3 hours cooking
  • Cost:  £3.18 per serving
  • Calories:  558 calories per serving
  • Serves: 4 adults

For the rendang paste:

  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 75g fresh ginger, peeled
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 lemongrass stalks, outer leaves removed and top & tailed trimmed
  • 5 red chillies, stalk & seeds removed
  • 1 tsp of each: ground tumeric, corriander, cumin
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

For the curry:

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 kilo of lean chuck steak or beef shin, diced into 2cm pieces
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 600ml water
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • Juice & zest of 1 lime (or replace the zest with 4 kaffier lime leaves)
  • 2 tbsp desiccated coconut, toasted in a hot pan (optional)

To serve:

  • Basmati rice
  • Fresh green steamed vegetables
  • Chopped chilli, fresh coriander, toasted desiccated coconut to garnish (optional)


  1. Place all the ingredients for the beef rendang paste in a food processor and blitz until smooth.
  2. Heat the sunflower oil in a large saucepan and add the rendang paste. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes until it's reduced a little and darkened.
  3. Add the diced beef and brown over a high heat stiring constatly until it's brown all over and well coated with the paste.
  4. Add the coconut milk, water, lime and sugar. Still very well and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to a gentle simmer.
  5. Simmer gently for three hours uncovered until the meat is soft and the sauce is thick and dark. Stir regularly to prevent the sauce from catching at the bottom of the pan. The last hour is most crucial as the sauce will be much thicker and is more likely to catch, so don't stray too far from it.
  6. When the sauce is thickened to your liking and the meat is soft and tender, stir through the coconut (if using) and turn off the heat.
  7. If you like, garnish with chilli, fresh coriander and some extra toasted coconut. Serve with rice and some steamed green vegetables.