Arrived in Belgium in November 2013. As it was indeed to early to work because of the need to short out the paperwork. Hence to filled the time, kitchen thrilled me to cook :p. Apparently as we far away from the country of origin, the gastronomy is one of the pivotal matter. Every bite tells the past.
As Indonesian, I’m proud to introduce my culture to the other side of the world. It’s been 4,5 years, and I always nailed to convince people to love Indonesian food. Indonesian food is quite spicy, yea the typical Asian food full of spices and herbs, not many European resistants with spicy food so I have no choice unless substitute the chili to bell pepper to have a lesser level of spiciness
So “Rendang” the slow cooked beef stew with coconut milk is the most tender dish on earth :)))) as CNN International chose rendang as the number one dish of their “World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods (Readers’ Pick)” list in 2018. Rendang is a spicy meat dish which originated in Indonesia. The Minangkabau community traditionally prepares during festive occasions such as traditional ceremonies, wedding feasts, and religion celebration.
I cook this dish almost every month furthermore vincent daughters love it. It’s worth to-give-a-try, let’s have a look the directions down below.
2kg of beef chuck cut in to 8 to 12 pieces
3 big shallots roughly chopped
4 bell peppers cut in to small pieces
4 bay leaves
2 liter of coconut milk
16 cloves garlic, peeled
6 candles nuts
4 lemongrass, trimmed, smashed with a mallet, and tied in to knots
1 bowl of rice
Salt and pepper
2 litres chicken stock
- Pulse candlenuts in a food processor until very fine. Add chiles, 3 big shallots, 10 garlic, 4 bell pepper.; purée until a slightly smooth paste forms, about 2 minutes. Transfer paste to a 12″ nonstick skillet with beef; using your hands, mix together.
- Add four bay leaves, lemongrass knots, cinnamon, coconut milk, and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, occasionally stirring to prevent coconut milk from scorching, until the consistency of thick pea soup, about one 1⁄2hours.
- Continue to cook, frequently stirring to prevent burning, until sauce and beef turn a dark caramel color and the sauce coats the meat, two 1⁄2-3 hours. Discard whole spices before serving; garnish with thinly sliced lime leaves.
Bok Choi’s Direction:
- Place the bok choy and 6 garlic in a steamer basket and place the basket over (not in) chicken stock.
- Steam until the base of the bok choy is just tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 6 minutes.
- Transfer the bok choy to a platter a. Drizzle with the olive oil and serve.
Coconut rice direction:
- Rinse and drain 300 gr of rice in cold water. Place in a saucepan with 1:2 cups chicken stock, 2 cups of coconut milk, and 2 pinches of salt.
- Place the pot over high heat and, bring the liquid to a boil.
- Stir and reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and cover the pot tightly with the lid.
- Continue cooking for 15 minutes.
- I like to pack them tightly into a mold, then invert the mold, so the rice comes out in a uniform mound. I usually reach for a small ramekin, coated in oil — it’s another excellent function for a piece of serving ware
- Dressing the rice with the steamed bokchoi
- Put the chunk of meat on top of rice and bokchoi
- Pour the sauce of rendang around the rice and the meat
- The last but not least is garnish the tiny chopped of parsley on top of the beef and garlic around.
As European people always eat the food with the eyes, so I’m happy I could turn the Indonesian dish (which usually messy through the eyes) into European delight and fancy dish. Below are the photos where I cooked rendang for 100 people in Liège. They told me they love it.
Credit photo: Vincent
Place: Mad Café Liège