Rendang Padang is one of my favorite dishes in the world. I have never encountered other people adding new potatoes to their rendang, but it’s what my Sumatran grandfather did. It works really well, with the potatoes soaking up the flavor of the rendang as it simmers, so there.
I used to make this on the stove, stirring my ass off the final hour to get the rendang to the right level of dryness. But I saw a friend drying out his rendang in a wadjan (wok) and figured slow cooking could really help hold the beef together while inserting maximum flavor. I tried, and damn does it work!
The meat comes out succulent and flavorful but with enough bite. Finishing it in the wadjan helps get it to the right level of dryness. I tend to make doubles so I can freeze it in portions and always have some at the ready.
- 500 gr of blade or pot roast beef in bite sized chunks
- 2 large onions finely chopped or sliced in thin rings
- 1 stick of lemongrass tied into a knot
- 2 leaves of Indonesian bay leaf (dried)
- 4 kaffir lime leaves (fresh or from the freezer, bruised)
- 1 dice sized cut up piece of laos (ie. galengal or Thai ginger)
- 2 table spoons of Sambal Oelek (or 2 finely chopped spanish red peppers, seeds in or out is up to you, but I’d deseed them)
- 1 small tin of coconutmilk and equal parts water
- 150 gr of unpeeled new potatoes (optional)
Basically chuck everything but the new potatoes into your slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. I am sure shorter and on high works as well, but I never do anything fast in my slow cooker. it seems to defeat the purpose.
Halfway through add in the new potatoes. If using. You can go in and stir it occasionally because there’s way more liquid than you need and rendang can always afford to lose liquid.
Once the slow cooking has finished, transfer your rendang to a wadjan or wok on a high heat and stir until almost all of the liquids have evaporated from the rendang. Serve with plain white rice and some crisp green beans.
Alternatively, you can use the liquid and meat to make delicious deep fried rendang bitterballen.
Don’t have a slow cooker?
No problem. Chuck all the ingredients in a Dutch oven, bring to a boil and then simmer for 2 hours. Add the new potatoes and simmer for another hour. During the fourth and final hour your rendang should start to dry. Stay close and stir often but gently, to keep the meat intact, until dry.