This fairly simple one-pot dish is named after Padang, the capital of the western Sumatran province from where it originates. “Padang food” also refers to a style of Indonesian cooking which is spicier than the normal fare.
The slow-cooking allows the meat to absorb all the rich flavors—of the coconut milk, lemongrass, galangal—also making this dish ideal for a crock pot or slow cooker. So you can throw everything in in the morning and come back home in the evening for a delightful dinner—served, of course, with rice.
One of the more popular choices at an Indonesian or Malaysian restaurant, Rendang Padang is now a dish you can make it at home (and so simply).
3 lbs. beef stew meat, cut into 1-2 inch chunks
8 fresh hot cayenne or other red chilies, stemmed and chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1-inch piece fresh galangal, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk lemongrass, tough outer layer remived, tender insides finely sliced
1/3 cup tamarind paste, mixed with 1/3 cup warm water
1 Tsp. ground cumin
1 Tsp. ground coriander
1 Tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 Tsp. chili powder
1 (15 oz.) can unsweetened coconut milk
2 Tsp. sugar
salt to taste
1.) Put beef in a 4-quart slow cooker
2.) In a food processor of blender, combine the chilies, onion, ginger, galangal, garlic, lemongrass, tamarind paste, 1 cup warm water, and spices. Process to a smooth puree and pour over beef. Stir in coconut milk and cook, covered, on the low setting for 5-6 hours, or until beef is very tender and the sauce is dark brown in color.
3.) Ladle most of the sauce into a saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until slightly thickened and reduced, about 30 minutes, then pour it back in the cooker. Cook uncovered on high setting for 30 minutes to an hour longer.
4.) Stir in sugar and season with salt to taste.
Serve with rice