Recipe from : Woolworths Taste – July 2015
Last month I made a “Save With Jamie” Beef Brisket Rendang, and it was (sadly) terrible. I really couldn’t eat it. Rendang is supposed to be a really flavoursome, rich and delicious curry. This month, I spotted Lamb Rendang in the Taste magazine and noticed a much richer spice combination in the ingredients list. Seeing that Tamarind features in this dish, I decided I had to give this one last attempt.
This was phenomenal; rich, flavoursome, complex, all the good things you read that a Rendang should be. Jamie Oliver eat your heart out! I know he is campaigning against sugar right now, but even if you entirely leave it out, this would still be phenomenal.
2T Coriander seeds
2T Fennel Seeds (out of stock everywhere so I used 1T powder and only toasted for about 10 seconds)
8 pods of Cardamom
1 Star Anise
1kg free-range stewing lamb
4T vegetable oil
1 x 10cm piece of ginger, grated finely
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped (I mince mine)
2 red chillies, roughly chopped
1 red onion, roughly chopped
1 stalk of lemongrass, bruised
2T tamarind paste (see comments below)
1 x 400ml can of coconut milk
1 cup good quality chicken stock
2 T treacle sugar
Crispy onions, thinly sliced, for serving
2 Spring onions, thinly sliced for serving
Mint to garnish
I toasted the spices (coriander, cardamom, anise) in my well heated non stick pan for about 20 seconds before adding the already ground fennel powder for 10 seconds. I turned the spices out into my mortar and pestle and ground as finely as I could. I added the turmeric to this and mixed through, then placed the cubed lamb into a mixing bowl, covered it with the spices and worked through so that most of the meat was well covered in the spice mix. I covered this and let it stand for ten minutes while I got started with chopping the onions, garlic, chilli and grating the ginger.
After the lamb had rested in the spices for about ten minutes, I browned it in a large pot in the oil on a high heat for about ten minutes, then added the onions, garlic, chilli, ginger and lemongrass (which I smashed with a hammer on my chopping board to release its flavours) for a further ten minutes until the onions looked soft and caramelised.
By the way, it was another epic and massively frustrating hunt for tamarind paste, ranging from corner cafe’s to health stores, to all of the large supermarket chains, and of course, mainly various Woolworths stores. All out of stock. Tamarind is my favourite thing and I was insistent that this had to be found. I even contemplated substituting with a bit of Meebos as a South African twist, but in the end settled on a bottle of Tamarind Dressing which I found at Woolworths. So instead of 2T of tamarind paste, I had to use 3T of this dressing, but it was already quite sugared and salty, so I only added a tablespoon of treacle sugar (instead of 2) and absolutely no further salt. This still worked, but I am definitely going to track down some tamarind, (buy in bulk) and make this again using the correct ingredients. Nevertheless, still delicious.
I added the coconut milk and the stock after the tamarind and sugar and simmered on low for 2 hours, before I noticed that it got quite dry and burnt on at the bottom of the pot, so I called it an evening and served.
A note to the editors at Taste : I did notice the summary in bold reads 2 hours cooking, 30 minutes, prep. In the instructions however, it states cook for 3 hours, or until curry is dry.
Note to all: I can confidently say that 2 hours cooking time is plenty
The house and possibly the entire neighbourhood filled with the rich aromas of this Indonesian curry, I highly recommend keeping doors to your bedrooms closed and the windows wide open while cooking as it permeates everything!
Effort : Medium. I say this as you do have to keep an eye on this to prevent it burning to the pot too much.
Time : 30 mins prep, definitely, 2 hours cooking.
Appearance : 8/10
Taste : 8/10 – this could quite likely be a 10/10 with actual tamarind paste.
Would I make this again? As soon as I locate tamarind again!