Beef Rendang

As the evenings get shorter, it’s time to turn to warming stews. This Beef Rendang by chef Domini Kemp is a real crowd-pleaser. As she says: ‘These are very easy-going flavours. Kids to grannies will eat this Asian beef stew, which isn’t killer spicy, but is aromatic enough to be a bit of a treat.’


4 cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp turmeric

a good pinch of dried chillies

a few glugs of olive oil

2 onions, chopped

6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

2 stalks lemongrass, finely chopped

a big knob of ginger, peeled and sliced

2 kg chuck or rump steak

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp soft brown sugar

2 x 400 g tins coconut milk

1 bunch coriander, chopped

Boiled rice, to serve


  1. Put all the spices in a large saucepan and gently heat for 1 minute to dry roast them. Either grind them up or pour into a cup and crush them with the end of a rolling pin.
  2. Pour the crushed spices back into the saucepan and add the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, lemongrass and ginger and sweat for a few minutes. Add in the meat and mix well so it’s coated in the spices. Season well with salt and pepper and add the sugar. You can turn the heat up and if the meat browns a little, great – but don’t caramelise the meat at the expense of burning the spices! Add the coconut milk.
  3. Cook for at least 2 hours on a very gentle heat. I didn’t keep a lid on it as I wanted it to reduce, but do give it the occasional stir, as it tends to burn the bottom of the pan. Eventually the meat should be incredibly tender and the sauce nice and thick.
  4. Adjust the seasoning and serve with loads of chopped coriander and some boiled rice. This is one of those dishes that also tastes very good the next day. If it has dried out too much upon reheating, just add a few splashes of water and check the seasoning.