'Melt in your mouth' Short Rib Beef Rendang (Sous Vide)

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

I have been asked if Beef rendang can be made using the Sous Vide method and the answer is absolutely yes.

For braising recipes with long cooking hours, I often use the SVmethod. I find it convenient to cook the meat beforehand as it frees up stove space and time for me to cook other dishes.

Beef rendang is one good recipe for this. I have already blogged the recipe here and it is also found in page 87 of my cookbook. Beef Rendang is a wonderful dish to serve for dinner parties and the SV way can make a delicious version. .

The traditional way of cooking beef rendang will end up with the meat picking up a lot of flavours from the rempah. For this reason, I use the cheeper and leaner cuts like chuck, top-side or shin beef.

If I am using Sous Vide, I will have better control over the meat and work at a balance where the meat almost taste like steak and yet you have  delicious rempah. I will go for higher marbled cuts like brisket or Short rib. After long SV cooking, it will have a "melt in your mouth" effect.

Sous Vide Rendang beef is not necessary better. It is just a different kind of rendang.

It involves three steps:

1. Sous Vide cook the beef for 24 to 48 hours
2. Cook the "rempah"
3. Add the beef and braise for 20-30 minutes.

In the recipe here, I am going for a green looking rendang through using green chillies. As I am not braising the rempah for a long time, it will result in a fresher looking rempah with some of the colours retained.  (??)

As for kerisik, you can now easily buy from local stores. However, there is nothing like making your own.


2 kg of boneless Short rib beef

For the Rempah (Paste)

To blend:
20 pieces of green chillies or 10 pieces of green chilli padi
15 Shallots
1 inch turmeric (kunyit)
1 inches of galangal (blue ginger or lengkuas)
1 inches of ginger

2 stalks of lemon grass – bruised
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp table salt
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
100 ml fresh coconut milk (optional)
2 dried tamarind slices (asam gelugur or asam keping)
2 tbsp of kerisik
3 Kaffir lime leafs, diced finely (to garnish)
1 cinnamon stick


Preparing the Kerisik
  1. Use 1 grated coconut (clean, without any husks). 
  2. In a wok on low fire, toast the coconut till it is brown in colour, but not burnt. Stir from time to time to prevent burning. It will take about 30 minutes.
  3. Using a strong blender, blend it till it is only. You can also use mortar - will be a lot of hard work!
  4. Reserve the kerisik for other use i..e Nasi Ulam. It stores well for weeks in the fridge. 
Preparing the meat
  1. Vacuum pack the slabs of boneless short ribs and cook at 55˚C for 36 hours. 
  2. Open the pack and pour the beef juice into a pot. Heat up the pot and strain the juice. 
  3. Remove the meat and cut it into cubes. Trim the fats. 
Cooking the rempah and finishing off the rendang
There are many ways to make the rempah and you should learn to us whatever dry spices you have. 
  1. Cook the fats from the beef in a wok till you get the oils.
  2. Now, add the blended paste, coriander and cumin powder and simmer for 15 minutes. 
  3. Add salt, sugar, tamarind slices and lemon grass. Add the coconut milk (optional) and beef juice. Simmer for 10 minutes. 
  4. Add the beef and simmer for 20 minutes. 
  5. Taste and add some salt if you need to. 
This dish keeps well and actually the meat is marinating in the rempah as you do so. Garnish with diced kaffir lime leafs before you serve. Squeeze some calamari kalamansi (lime) in if you wish (often do). Eat this with steam rice or serve it with Nasi Lemak. It will also work with Nasi Ulam. 

Making the rempah

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  1. Ah I see this here. Thank you!!

  2. hi foodcanon, just wondering if the cooking time and temperature would be the same if I used beef shank?