Right, we’ve been sailing merrily on the BBQ ship for some time this year but it hasn’t escaped our notice that the weather may well be deterring even the most hardcore out there.

So here is cause for what we hope is a temporary retreat into the warm confines of your kitchen - Richard H. Turner’s Beef Rendang Curry.

Hailing from West Sumatra in Indonesia, rendang was originally used as a method of preserving excess quantities of meat and it goes without saying that this dish definitely improves a day or two after cooking, as all the sweet, spicy and caramelised flavours from the aromatics bed in.

Of course, make sure you refrigerate over this time and reheat it thoroughly.

This recipe is from Richard H. Turner’s PRIME - Published by Mitchell Beazley




1kg chuck steak

50g beef dripping

2 cinnamon sticks

2 cloves

2 star anise

50g desiccated coconut, toasted

500ml coconut water (the kind sold fresh for drinking)

1tbs tamarind paste

1tbs fish sauce

1tbs kecap manis or light soy sauce

2 kaffir limes leaves

250ml Beef Bones Gravy

Juice of 1 lime

Maldon sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

For the spice paste

100g shallots, peeled

1 garlic bulb, cloves peeled 

50g fresh root galangal, peeled

50g fresh root ginger, peeled

3 red chillies

3 lemon grass stalks 

50ml water 

For the coconut rice

500g basmati rice

700ml coconut water (the kind sold fresh for drinking)


First make the spice paste. Roughly chop the shallots, garlic, galangal, ginger, chillies and lemon grass, then place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse, adding the water to make a fine paste. Set aside.

Cut the beef into 4cm chunks. Heat a heavy-based pan over a medium heat and add half the dripping. Add the beef, in batches if necessary, and cook on all sides until browned, then remove from the pan and set aside. Add the remaining dripping and the spice paste and fry for 2 minutes, then add the cinnamon, cloves and star anise and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Return the browned beef to the pan, along with the toasted desiccated coconut. Stir well, then add the coconut water, tamarind paste, fish and soy sauces, lime leaves and Beef Bones gravy  and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a bare simmer, stirring regularly to make sure it doesn’t stick. Cover with a lid and cook gently for 1½ hours, or until the meat is tender.

To make the coconut rice, place the rice and coconut water in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, then cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for a few minutes before serving.

Meanwhile, remove the lid from the beef and cook for a further 15 minutes, until just thickened. Add the lime juice, season with salt and pepper and serve with the coconut rice.

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