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Beef Rendang and the Case of the Invisible Sauce

Don’t think of this amazing Indonesian beef curry as not
having a sauce, think of it as not needing a sauce. By the way, it has a sauce
– you just can’t see it. Flavorless water evaporates when you reduce a pan
sauce, like we’re doing here, but fat doesn’t, nor does flavor, which is what
makes this such a unique, and deliciously addictive dish.

Originally the recipe was developed as a way to preserve meat
in hot and humid Indonesia, which is why it was cooked until dry. The lack of
moisture, along with all these naturally antimicrobial ingredients meant you
could keep this around for weeks without it spoiling, and apparently people
enjoyed the taste and texture so much, they continued making it this way long
after refrigeration was available.

Having said that, if you do want some sauce to serve with
it, simply add more water during the cooking, or cover for part of the time,
and you’ll be all set. Which reminds me, if you do cook this the day before, as
recommended, you’ll want to add a big splash the water to the pan when you
reheat it. Add some water, cover it, and when you think it’s heated through,
uncover, crank the heat, and cook until it reaches your desired degree of

The ingredient list below does contain a few semi-exotic
items, so I’ve added what to substitute with in parentheses, but all in all
most of these things should not be that hard to find, especially online. But
whether you make a few substitutions or not, I really do hope you give this intensely
flavorful, and invisibly-sauced beef rendang a try soon. Enjoy!

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Ingredients for 4 large portions Beef Rendang:

4 shallots, sliced (or red onion)

6 garlic cloves

1.5 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, sliced

1/.5 inch piece galangal (or ginger)

Fresno red chile pepper

2 Serrano chilies pepper

1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

1 or 2 tablespoons red chili flakes, depending on desired

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut in 2-inch pieces

1/2 stalk lemongrass, lighter part, bruised with back  of knife

1 can coconut milk

1 generous tablespoon brown sugar

2 teaspoons tamarind paste (or zest from a lime and lemon,
plus juice from 1 lime)

steamed rice for service, garnished with cilantro and lime
if desired


Our best recipes from January of the 90s – Italian Cuisine

Tagliatelle with seafood
Nastrini with cheese and potatoes
Vermicelli co pommodoro
Cappelletti romagnoli
Cold pasta with prawns
Saffron half sleeves
Conchiglioni filled with broccoli, scampi and ricotta
Pasta and chickpeas with mussels
Pasta with vegetables
Farfalle with prawns
Pasta pie with four cheeses
Ravioli stuffed with roast veal
Risotto with clams and beans
Tagliatelle with three flavors
Crepes of meat and herbs
Tagliatelle with marinara
Noodles cake
Italian spaghetti
Spaghetti tricolore
Fusilli del cambusiere
Spaghetti with tasty
Spaghetti of the national team
Trofie with peas
Fusilli salad with lobster
Bucatini with lamb sauce
Shells in tasty bread sauce
Rice crown with chicken
Tagliatelle with asparagus
Spaghetti alla Molise
Lasagnette with vegetables
Penne with seafood
Tagliolini in a gardener sauce

The 90s were those in which the Spice Girls and the Backstreet Boys dictated the rules of the bands, where the deep soul of the Nirvana she was ready to enter the history of music and i Oasis they made us dream. They wore Levi's 501 and Dr Marteens like a uniform hiding under oversize white t-shirts. But they were also the years of the navel in sight, the tufts of colored hair before the eyes and of Beverly Hills 90210. A decade full of nuances, carefree and thoughtful at the same time when many things have happened that we are longing for. Also in the kitchen.

What we miss

In this January detox the mind flies to those funny years in which we repented of partying, of course, but with a little more lightness. This is confirmed by our January recipes recovered from the numbers of "La Cucina Italiana" released between 1990 and 1999 where we noticed an unconditional love for the crepes, cakes and the first rich. Those that make you beat your heart when they arrive at the table, those that we could not yet ask the mother with WhatsApp.
Always from those magical years, a great desire to dedicate the time it takes to each recipe to enjoy vegetable soups, overcooked meats and elaborate second courses.

Read also

30 early 90s that you have definitely eaten

A leap in time

2019 has already started and the dream of pretending to be in the 90s is becoming less and less unrealizable. You want for those white threads in your hair that remind you every year that separates us from the decade, or because all the steps forward made in these years, underneath we like them. So why not? steal from the January recipes of the 90s just what we did not leave behind? Like the love for the regional preparations and the desire for rich and simple tastes at the same time. But also the fantasy that allows us to move between one ingredient and another without underestimating its importance.
In the opening gallery, the recipes we have chosen from the January numbers of the 90s like stuffed chicken, mashed potatoes and carrots, chocolate bananas and winter fruit pie.

Green smoothie