The summer issue

Our summer-packed January issue is out now - featuring our guide to summer rieslings, strawberries and seafood recipes, as well as a look at the best of Bali.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller for just $6 an issue - offer ends 29th January, 2017.

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

Recipes with peaches

Whether caramelised in a tarte Tartin, paired with slow-roasted pork on top of pizza or tossed through salads, this sweet stone fruit is an excellent addition to summer cooking.

Black Star Pastry to open in Carlton, Melbourne

Instagram’s most famous cake, plus a few other sweet hits, is heading south.

Knives and Ink chef tattoos

What is it about chefs and tattoos? A new book asks the inked to answer for themselves.

Ben Shewry's favourtie souvlaki restaurant in Melbourne Kalimera Souvlaki Art

Attica’s chef isn’t happiest when eating soils or smears on his days off, it’s souvlaki. We follow him to his favourite spot.

AA Gill's final column for Gourmet Traveller

We mourn the loss of a treasured member of the Gourmet Traveller family who passed awayon December 10, 2016. British writer AA Gill was a contributor to the magazine from July 2004. Gill’s travel column was as insightful as it was witty, funny as it was thoughtful – he was without peer. This is the final piece he wrote for Gourmet Traveller; it appears in the December issue, 2016. - Anthea Loucas Bosha, Editor

Seabourn Encore luxury cruise ship

Australia is about to get its first glimpse of Seabourn Encore, a glamorous new addition to the Seabourn fleet.

Berry recipes

Whether it's raspberries paired with chocolate in a layer cake, or blueberries with lemon in a tart; berries are a welcome addition to any dessert. Here are delicious recipes with berries.

Coconut crab and green mango salad

"This salad bursts with fresh, vibrant flavours and became a signature on my Paramount menus," says Christine Manfield. "I capitalised on using green mangoes in many dishes as they became more widely available. Blue swimmer crabs from South Australia have the most delicious sweet meat. It's best to buy them whole, cook them yourself and carefully pick the meat from the shell - a tedious task but it gives the best flavour. This entree also works well with spanner crab meat (you can buy this in packs ready cooked from reliable fishmongers). The sweetness of the crab, the richness of the fresh coconut and the sourness of green mango make a wonderful partnership. It's all about harmony on the palate and using the very best produce."

Beef rendang


When it comes to making the ever-popular rendang, patience is indeed a virtue. Persevere and you'll be richly rewarded with a dish of delicious complexity, writes Tony Tan.

You'll need

30 gm desiccated coconut 30 gm ginger, finely chopped 20 gm galangal, finely chopped 2 lemongrass stalks (white part only), finely chopped 8 long red chillies, coarsely chopped 6 golden shallots, finely chopped 5 garlic cloves 30 gm turmeric, finely chopped 100 ml vegetable oil 700 gm beef oyster blade, cut into 5cm cubes 425 ml coconut milk 2 tsp caster sugar To serve: steamed long-grain rice and steamed Asian greens

Method

  • 01
  • Dry-roast coconut in a frying pan over medium heat until evenly golden (5-7 minutes), stirring occasionally, then set aside to cool slightly.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, pound ginger, galangal and lemongrass to a smooth paste with a mortar and pestle. (You can do this in a food processor, adding 20ml water or as needed to form a smooth paste.)
  • 03
  • Add chillies, shallots, garlic and turmeric and pound to a coarse paste. Set aside. Pound the toasted coconut with a clean mortar and pestle until slightly glossy. Set aside.
  • 04
  • Heat vegetable oil in a wok (or a large shallow saucepan or a deep-sided frying pan) over medium-high heat, add spice mixture and stir often until aromatic (5 minutes).
  • 05
  • Add beef and stir occasionally until the meat is well browned (5-7 minutes).
  • 06
  • Add toasted coconut and cook for a minute, then add coconut milk, sugar and 500ml water. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously to prevent curdling.
  • 07
  • Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender (2 hours).
  • 08
  • Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and reserve. Stir sauce over medium-high heat until very thick (20-30 minutes), then return beef to wok, stir gently, season to taste with salt and serve with steamed rice and some steamed greens.

Note By all means increase the number of chillies to suit your taste. And for extra flavour, you can tie the stalk of the lemongrass into a knot and add it at step 6.


Beef rendang

In essence, rendang is nothing more than a stew, but if you've ever eaten a real rendang, then you'll know it's a dish fit for a king - and it has a fascinating story.

It's linked to an ethnic group known as the Minangkabau or Minang people from West Sumatra, Indonesia; their provincial capital is Padang. The Minangkabau are best known for three cultural traditions: their society is matrilineal; they practise a form of migration called merantau, whereby men are encouraged to move away to earn their fortune; and they are well known throughout Indonesia for their cooking. Their cooking style, which is often referred to as Padang cuisine, makes extensive use of coconut milk, fiery chillies and aromatic plants.

Rendang came to Malaysia when the Minang migrated in the 15th century to settle in Negeri Sembilan state. From here, rendang spread to other states, gradually becoming the most popular beef dish among Malays not only in Malaysia but also in Singapore - and beyond. In fact, when CNN Travel polled its readers in 2011 to come up with a list of the world's 50 most popular dishes, rendang came in at number one, ahead of Peking duck, lasagne, sushi and pad Thai.

What is rendang? It's a dish traditionally cooked with beef, although chicken, goat, lamb, buffalo and even offal and young jackfruit are also used. Its defining flavours start with rhizomes such as turmeric, galangal and ginger, along with lemongrass and a fair quantity of chilli - though you may of course reduce the heat to suit your palate. The dish also uses a lot of coconut milk.

And one of the secrets of a great rendang is ground toasted coconut, "kerisik" in Malay. Grated fresh coconut is slowly toasted until it's golden, then pounded to a fine paste and added to rendang to help create its rich complexity. It's fine to use desiccated coconut, as we have here, since fresh can be hard to find in Australia. It lacks some of the sweetness and moisture, however, so if you can find fresh coconut, it's worth the effort.

Making a great rendang requires time and patience; it can't be rushed. To yield a dish of intense complexity, it's necessary to reduce the sauce until it turns to oil and the spices cling to the meat. Rendang that's cooked for a shorter time, in which a lot of sauce remains, is not rendang at all; it's really a variant dish called kalio. Cooking a real rendang, then, means ample opportunity to enjoy the heavenly aromas wafting through the kitchen.

Choose beef cuts with plenty of connective tissue, such as chuck, oyster blade, gravy beef and shin meat. These are perfect because they absorb the spices beautifully and break down to tender chunks of meaty goodness in the long cooking process - just like the water buffalo and working cattle that are often used traditionally. What's more, these cuts are also inexpensive.

Rendang is usually served with steamed rice, though I have had it served with nasi minyak, rice cooked with ghee, and nasi lemak, rice cooked in coconut milk. I've also eaten rendang with lemang, a delicious sticky rice cooked in bamboo tubes leaning against an open flame.

In Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, rendang is traditionally served on festive occasions such as Hari Raya (Eid al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan), weddings and at circumcision ceremonies, but it is now also enjoyed as an everyday dish in restaurants and in the home. Finding a perfectly cooked version, however, is like finding a pot of gold.

Since rendang was first introduced to Malaysia about 400 years ago, several variations of the dish unique to different parts of the country have developed. Some versions use kaffir lime leaves; others include turmeric leaves, pieces of dried asam gelugor (the fruit of a rainforest tree, Garcinia atroviridis), or cumin, coriander or fennel seeds, or a combination. Two of the most famous versions are the spice-rich rendang tok, said to have originated in the royal kitchens of the state of Perak, and rendang Rembau, a super-hot version named after a small town in Negeri Sembilan.

I don't remember where my recipe comes from - probably a Nonya neighbour, or it might have been adapted from one by Sri Owen, the authority on Indonesian food.

Properly made, rendang is said to last for days, even at room temperature, thanks to the antimicrobial properties of turmeric. My advice, however, is to serve it as soon as it's done because it's so extravagantly delicious.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people
GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for ways to make the most out of seasonal produce? Want to find a recipe perfect for a party? Or just after fresh ideas for dessert? Either way, our recipe collections have you covered.

See more
2017 Restaurant Guide

Our 2017 Restaurant Guide is online, covering over 400 restaurants Australia wide. Never wonder where to dine again.

See more

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

Featured in

Aug 2014

You might also like...

Beef cheek recipes

recipes

Pave de boeuf with Roquefort sauce and gratin dauphinoise

A culinary Tour de France

recipes

Pan-fried John Dory agrodolce with endive and goat’s cheese

Saltimbocca alla Romana

recipes

Piccata di vitello

Adana kofte

recipes

Roast lamb loin with couscous and pumpkin

Pork chops with fennel

recipes

conversion tool

 
get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×