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Spicy Coconut Braised Beef (Rendang)

This is the recipe I used to create the beef in crispy wanton cups for the fund raiser for Ronald McDonald House in Auckland, 2013.  It is a great and versatile recipe as it is even more delicious the next day meaning you can keep it and reheat - serve as a starter; or as a main. You can make it as spicy or as mild as you prefer by adjusting the type of chilli you use and also the amount of smoked paprika.  I hope you enjoy as much as we did. (serves 4 as a main course)


  • 2 Chillies chopped (smaller they are the hotter they are so you can choose!)
  • 3 Garlic cloves peeled and chopped
  • 1 knob of ginger roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbs smoked paprika
  • 2 lemongrass stems chopped
  • 2 limes juice and zest
  • 2 Tbs grapeseed oil
  • 1 kilo cross cut beef or chuck steak - cut into cubes
  • 1 can coconut milk approx 2 cups
  • salt and pepper


  1. Place the first 6 ingredients into a food processor or into a pestle and mortar.  Crush/Process until well combined.
  2. Heat the oil in the bottom of a heavy based pan (or in a pressure cooker).
  3. On a low heat, add the spice paste and cook for a couple of minutes until fragrant.
  4. Add the cubed beef and cook to brown the cubes and to combine with the sauce.
  5. Pour in the coconut milk.
  6. If you are using a
  7. pressure cooker
  8. you now put on the lid and bring to pressure over high heat.  Then reduce the heat and allow to cook for 45 mins to 1 hour.  Allow the pressure cooker to cool and release the pressure.  Remove the lid and cook at a simmer to thicken slightly.  You can use forks to pull the meat apart - this will be perfect if you serve in wanton cups.  You can also serve with fragrant rice as a main course.
  9. If you are using a
  10. regular stove top
  11. Season to taste.