Beef Rendang

Beef rendang, a fragrant Indonesian curry, is made with skirt steak braised until tender in a richly spiced sauce of tomato paste, lemongrass, onion, garlic, ginger, and coconut milk. Can also be made in the slow cooker.

A stainless steel skillet filled with beef rendang and topped with two lime halves, lemongrass, and cilantro

Like the traditional slowly simmered Indonesian curry, this beef rendang is braised in a fragrant sauce spiced with ginger, tomato, coconut milk, and spices. You can tuck it in your oven to braise all afternoon, or toss everything in the slow cooker and let it simmer all day long. Can’t wait that long? We have an Instant Pot version for you as well.–Angie Zoobkoff

Beef Rendang

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 45 M
  • 4 H, 45 M
  • Serves 4
5/5 - 1 reviews
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In a large Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil. In a large bowl or resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, salt and pepper, seal, and shake. Add the beef and toss to evenly coat the beef. Working in batches, add the beef to the hot oil without crowding the pan and sear until browned on all sides, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the meat to a bowl.

Add the onions, garlic, lemongrass, chile, ginger, and additional oil, if needed, to the Dutch oven and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 5 minutes.

If making the beef rendang in the oven, preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Stir the tomato paste, spices, and sugar into the Dutch oven. Then add the coconut milk and 1 3/4 cups stock. Bring to a gentle simmer and then return the beef to the Dutch oven. Cover and slide it in the oven, stirring once, until the meat is very tender and the sauce clings to the beef, about 4 hours. If the beef is tender but the sauce hasn’t thickened to your liking, place the Dutch oven on the stove over medium heat, uncover, and simmer until the sauce reduces to the desired consistency. Season with the kecap manis and a generous squeeze of lime juice.

If making the beef rendang in the slow-cooker, transfer the onion mixture to your slow cooker and then stir in the tomato paste, spices, sugar, coconut milk, and 1 cup of stock. Stir well, then add the beef. Cover with the lid and cook on the low setting for 7 hours. Pull the lid slightly ajar and cook on the high setting for a further 30 minutes. Transfer everything to a large skillet set over medium heat and reduce the sauce until it clings to the beef. Season with the kecap manis and a good squeeze of lime juice.

Remove the lemon grass stalks before garnishing with fresh cilantro. Serve with a side of rice.

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    • Instead of being simmered low and slow in the oven, this tasty curry can be made quickly in your pressure cooker or Instant Pot. Follow the slow cooker method above, using the Sauté function to brown the meat and aromatics. Cook on high pressure for 45 minutes and then let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and use the Sauté function to reduce the sauce until it thickly coats the meat, about 5 minutes.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    This was a big hit for dinner time in our house! What a lovely combination of spice, heat, acidity, and creaminess! This beef redang on basmati rice was the highlight of my day!

    I opted to make this in the oven rather than the slow cooker. The meat was super tender after 4 hours. One thing I would recommend is giving it a little stir around after 3 to 3 1/2 hours just because some of the sauce does crust in the dutch oven. The sauce did not need to be reduced as it coated the meat as described.

    There is some chopping for prep, but all in all this is not too fussy of a dish. The worst part is the aroma from the oven torturing you as you are waiting 4 whole hours to eat this! Enjoyed the splash of lime juice for acidity and the sweetened soy sauce.

    When you pull this beef rendang out of the oven, you’re offered an exact visual cue from the author’s description of the recipe. I served this with jasmine rice and offered kecap manis, cilantro, and sliced limes on the side. Everyone enjoyed adding flavors based on their personal preferences and this also sparked interesting table conversations. The rendang was delicious, exotic, not too spicy, and very much enjoyed by everyone!


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    1. This meal has you waiting to walk through the door after having it stew in the crockpot for multiple hours. Rendang is a bona fide classic in the culinary world and deserves to be on the shortlist for great meals. It is getting up there in difficulty, but that was nothing that I couldn’t handle.

      Heck, it is worth making it right before bed in order to wake up to the fragrant scent. I have done a tradition over the past few months to make a simple-ish slow cooker meal for Saturday lunchtime; to respect Sabbath traditions, prepare everything beforehand during the Friday night, and let it go all night long. Your recipe was the latest one of these as I write.

      Absolutely beautiful, the way the beef falls apart on the fork. Plus the richness of the sauce. I might double the spice in the future (I am a real spice fiend here). Another tweak I made was using banana ketchup instead of tomato paste – I do that now since I find tomato paste goes furry too quickly for me.

      It sucks for Indonesians that they live in a hot climate. I could only imagine how wonderful it would be walking in from the big chill to lovely rendang.

      1. Thanks, Mikey. I’m delighted that you tried this and that it was such a success for you. I can’t wait to hear what you try next!

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