A rendang might have a long list of ingredients, but it all goes into a blender, then into a single pot.
2 large onions, peeled, roughly chopped
2 large red chillies, seeds and stalk removed (optional)
5cm galangal, peeled
5cm ginger, peeled
8 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tsp belacan (shrimp paste), or 2 tbsp fish sauce
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
3 stalks lemongrass, each trimmed to around 12cm in length and bruised
5 makrut lime leaves
2.5kg beef short ribs (or 2kg chuck steak), cut into 8cm pieces
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
400ml coconut cream
½ cup dessicated coconut
cooked rice, to serve
1. Combine the onion, chilli, galangal, ginger, garlic and belacan (or fish sauce) in a blender and blend to a paste. You can add a bit of water if you need to. Heat a heavy casserole dish over medium heat and add the oil and paste. Half-cover the pot to stop it spitting and fry the spice paste for about 10-15 minutes until dry and starting to brown, stirring frequently to stop it from sticking to the pot. Add the turmeric, cinnamon, star anise, lemongrass and 3 of the lime leaves and mix well, then add the beef and mix well. Add the salt, sugar, coconut cream and 500ml water and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 2½ hours, stirring occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, toast the coconut in a dry frying pan, stirring constantly until it is hazelnut-brown. Watch it carefully as it can burn easily. Set aside to cool. Finely shred the remaining 2 lime leaves.
3. Uncover the rendang and stir through the caramelised coconut, then simmer for an additional 45 minutes until the mixture is oily and a little dry, and the beef is tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning as required, then scatter with the shredded lime leaves. Serve with rice.
Find more of Adam Liaw's recipes in the Good Food New Classics cookbook.