A caramelized curry dish from West Sumatra in Indonesia, reckoned to be one of the most delicious beef dishes on the planet by a CNN poll. Originally used as a method of preserving excess quantities of meat, this dish has spread throughout Asia due to the migrating culture of its originators, the Minangkabau.
1kg chuck steak
50g beef dripping
2pc cinnamon sticks
2pc star anise
50g desiccated coconut (toasted)
500ml coconut water (the kind sold fresh for drinking)
1tablespoon tamarind paste
1tablespoon fish sauce
1tablespoon kecap manis or light soy sauce
2kaffir lime leaves
250ml Basic Beef Broth
juice of 1 lime
Maldon sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
- First make the spice paste. Roughly chop the shallots, garlic, galandar, ginger, chillies and lemon grass, then place all the ingredients in a processor and pulse, adding the water to make a fine paste. Set aside.
- Cut the beef into 4cm chunks. Heat a heavy-based pan over a medium heat and add half the dripping. Add the beef, in batches if necessary, and cook on all sides until browned, then remove from the pan and set aside. Add the remaining dripping and the spice paste and fry for 2 minutes, then add the cinnamon, cloves and star anise and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Return the browned beef to the pan, along with the toasted desiccated coconut, Stir well, then add the coconut water, tamarind paste, fish and soy sauces, lime leaves and beef broth and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a bare simmer, stirring regularly to make sure it doesn't stick. Cover with a lib and cook gently for 1 1/2 hours, or until the meat is tender.
- To make the coconut rice, place the rice and coconut water in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, then cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for a few minutes before serving.
- Meanwhile, remove the lib from the beef and cook for a further 15 minutes, until just thickened. Add the lime juice, season with salt and pepper and serve with the coconut rice.