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论老子

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Beef rendang (traditional)  

2014-09-28 11:34:58|  分类: Fusion Cooking |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Background: Beef rendang is one of the most delicious dishes that originates in the Malay achipelago. Actually, rendang refers to the simmering cooking process. Rendang beef, mutton or chicken is widely prepared during Hari Raya, wedding banquets and house gatherings.        

Challenges: There are three key challenges to the rendang process. The beef must retain sweetness, meaning it is not over-boiled. The final product must be essentially dry while retaining its moisture. The final product must not be broken into pieces because of the prolonged simmering process. Because the above process is very time-consuming, taking at least seven to ten hours of cooking, therefore, several kilograms of beef is cooked at one go and usually during festive seasons.              

My brilliant idea: Cook half a kilogram of beef at a time. You can cook beef rendang any day of the year. I purposely choose the shin part because it is much more difficult to cook and needs double the time to boil it until it is soft.

Ingredients: Beef shin part (500 grams). Rest of the ingredients, please refer to the embedded procedure.  

Procedure: (Broken down into five sections)

Section one: Boil banana, honey date and medlar.

Boiled the sweet base-stock in accordance with procedure, Banana, honey dates and medlar as a sweet-base soup.

Beef rending (traditional) - 行天之道 - 论老子

 Note 1:

You can boil one to two kilograms of banana and keep the boiled sweet soup in the refrigerator.

Section two: Remove the foul smell of beef

Step 1: Wash and cut the beef (shank/shin) into large traverse chunk. 

Step 2: Place the beef chunk neatly atop chopsticks. Remark: Avoid the blood scum from contaminating the beef chunk. It is the blood residing inside the fine capillaries of the beef muscles that causes the foul smell.

Step 3: Add a bottle-capful of hua diao jiu. Note: Muslims friend may skip this process.

Beef rending (traditional) - 行天之道 - 论老子

 Step 4: Turn on to low heat for three hour to completely remove the foul smell. Note: At the end of the process, the beef should be cleaned of its smell of blood. See picture below.

Beef rending (traditional) - 行天之道 - 论老子

        Step 5: Filter away the soup at the end of this process. It shall be added to the sweet solution prepared in section one. Note the lumps of blood scum at the bottom of the pan.

Beef rending (traditional) - 行天之道 - 论老子

 Section three: Boil the beef with the sweet base stock

Step 1: To the beef prepared in section two add in the sweet base-stock described in section one.

Step 2: Boil the beef in the sweet base solution. Add water if necessary because during cooking process the water evaporates away.

Step 3: Use a chop stick to lightly poke it through. If it can be pushed through easily, it means it is already softened.

Beef rending (traditional) - 行天之道 - 论老子

 Step 4: Use a pair of chopsticks and pick up all the boiled pieces of beef chunks.

Beef rending (traditional) - 行天之道 - 论老子

Section four: Prepare the gravy

Step 1: Buy the powdered spice mixture from an Indian shop. Separate the red hot chili powder from the rest of the powdered spice mixture.  Remark: The capsaicin of the chili would be evaporated off should it be cooked for more than 15 minutes. See picture below.

Beef rending (traditional) - 行天之道 - 论老子

 Step 2: Add lots of oil to cover up all the spice powder. Remark: The oil layer atop the spices prevents the fragrance of the spices from evaporating off.

Step 3: Heat up the spice mixture and stir continuously until it lumps up nicely. This is a clear indication that the spices is about well cooked. Note: You should be able to smell the nice fragrance of the spices, though it is very mild because the oil layer prevents it from evaporating off.

Step 4: Add in the chili powder separated as in step 1. Cook for 15 minutes with continuously stirring.

Step 5: Scoop up half of the cooked spices and you can use it for the next cooking of half kilogram of beef. Remark: Because you have use oil to cover up the spices while cooking, you need not use as much spices as what the Indian man had sold to you for the half kilogram beef.

Beef rending (traditional) - 行天之道 - 论老子

Step 6: Add in two/three tablespoon of pumpkin paste. See Pumpkin as a base stock for sauces.  Note 1: Pumpkin is mild in sweetness and its fine texture makes it a good ingredient to make just about any thick sauce.  Note 2: If you want it spicy, then add chililabu. See XO chili sauce – New creative fusion style.

Step 7: Add in the beef chunks boiled in a sweet solution prepared in section three. Boil for 5 minutes and stir well to ensure the beef chunk is enveloped in the thick gravy.

Beef rending (traditional) - 行天之道 - 论老子

 Section five: Simmer the boiled beef in a rice cooker

Step 1: Place the pieces of beef chunk in the rice cooker while ensuring there is gap in-between the pieces.

Beef rending (traditional) - 行天之道 - 论老子

 Step 2: Turn on the rice cooker to “Keep warm” mode, using extremely low heat to simmer the beef for 7 hours.

Beef rending (traditional) - 行天之道 - 论老子

 Remark: This method of simmering does not require any stirring or in fact, any attention at all. You can leave the rice cooker on for 7 hours while you are at work or asleep throughout the night.

Finished Product:

Beef rendang (traditional) - 行天之道 - 论老子
  Notes:

1) Above is a nicely simmered loin part until it is quite soft. It broke into two pieces when I used a chopstick to pick it up.

2) The beef is soft, chewy and yet, does not breaks of easily into fine threads. Remark: The loin part is easier to rendang. However it easily breaks off in small thread-like pieces.

Note: You can see that the tendon part is soft while the meaty beef part is tender and chewy.

Assessments:

1) The sweet base-stock enhances the sweetness of the meaty beef pieces. It is sweet (from a combination of a few sweet ingredients).

2) The tendon must be boiled to soft texture. Yet, the meat is still chewable because the shin portion is used for rendang.

3) It is the simmering process in section five make it soft, tender and yet, chewy.

4) The tendon part is soft and melts in your mouth.

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