Beef rendang

Beef rendang is one of the spicy curry dishes from my youth that I still have fond memories of. I recall the time when I had the hottest beef rendang ever, which burnt my tongue and caused a lot of pain – I literally had to wash my tongue with running water from the tap to reduce the heat. But it was also the tastiest I had ever had – and the yard stick by which I have compared subsequent tastings.

Recently I decided to cook beef rendang, and remembered seeing such a ready-made sauce in Tesco. Hence I bought this, even though it was described as mild; I thought I could add my Ghost chilli to this to spice it up further, and make it truly HOT!!!

Rendang sauce
Rendang curry paste from Tesco

I used 400g diced beef in the rendang. The recommendation is to coat the beef with the paste for at least 1/2 hour to marinate the meat, prior to frying it. I used the entire jar of paste (even though the recipe which came on the jar recommended 2 to 3 tablespoons of the paste), as I do like the sauce (can’t get enough of it).

Beef rending
Beef rendang

As with all curries, it is best to leave it for at least 1 to 2 days to allow the flavour to soak into the meat. It definitely needed at least 1 or 2 ghost chilli to really spice it up. But the rest of the flavour is definitely there – the lemon grass and other spices. Best tasting rendang paste for sure. Highly recommended. Not too expensive either (£1.79 per bottle).

Beef rendang
Beef rendang

Now I do like to have some red wine with my beef dishes. As this is a rather spicy dish, it is recommended to have a spicy Australian Shiraz. I decided to open a bottle of St Hallet Old Block Shiraz 2005. This wine is made from old vines which are at least 60 to 100 years old – this means lower yield but much more concentrated and flavoursome wine.

9 year old St Hallett Old Block Shiraz

This is one of the nicest shiraz from Australia, and not overly expensive at £25.99. But it certainly needs a lot of ageing to reach its best. I decided to decant it three times (once into the decanter, then back to the bottle, before another time into the decanter). This allowed the wine to improve further prior to drinking.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe wine was excellent. There was the scent of leather, oak and cinnamon. It had a long finish. It continued to improve as the night went on. It certainly held its own against the strong flavours of the beef rendang. Nice.