Beef rendang indonesia is said to be the most delicious food in the world. The rich and spicy taste that penetrates the deeper part of the meat gives you the sensation that you never had before. Because of that, many people love to try it. Many tourists also search for a restaurant that serves this food when they visit Indonesia. So, are you also interested in trying it? Before you order this delicious meat-based food, let’s learn more about Indonesian Rendang.
The History of Rendang
Rendang was inspired by Indian curry. In the 15th century, the trader from Indian visited West Sumatra to trade various stuff. They carried one of their meals, which is curry. Then, Minangkabau people adopted this cooking method to make similar soup dishes. Now, it is known as gulai.
Rendang was born from the further cooking process of gulai. Minangkabau people try to cook this food further to make its taste stronger. They keep boiling it until the soup is reduced. Then, it became kalio. Kalio is a similar dish to Rendang. However, it has more soup in it. It is also known as the wet Rendang. From this point, they try to make it last longer by reducing the soup. The soup becomes even thicker and that is where Rendang was first discovered.
The idea of drying out the gulai into Rendang came in the 16th century. At that time, many Minangkabau traders started the journey to other areas. They used the river to travel. Because the trip took a long time, they needed a way to preserve their food. Then, the idea of dry Rendang was born.
In the Malaccan Malay manuscript of Hikayat Amir Hamzah, there is more detailed information about when Rendang was first invented. It said that this food was made in the 1550s when Portuguese traders invaded Malacca territory. They brought chili from America that was cultivated in the Minangkabau area. Then, people in this area started to use it on various dishes, including gulai, which became Rendang.
Because of its thick and strong taste, plus its preservability, Rendang become much more popular since then. On the other hand, it was also caused by the tradition of Minangkabau people who love to migrate or merantau in the local language, to other cities. Now, if you visit Indonesia, you will always find Padang restaurants in any city that you visit. That is also the reason why Rendang has spread out and is well-known.
Types of Beef Rendang Indonesia
As we mentioned above, there are two types of Rendang, which are wet and dry Rendang. The wet Rendang is also called Kalio. It has a similar composition and taste to the Rendang. However, it has some liquid that is made of coconut milk and spices. This one is more similar to the curry. Interestingly, you can find this type of Rendang a lot in Netherland. Most of Rendang in that country use this type of presentation.
The other type of Rendang is the dry type. The dry Rendang is what Minangkabau people called the true beef rendang indonesia. The cooking method that has been inherited from hundred years ago also produces this type of Rendang.
Even though we call it dry Rendang, this food is not completely dried. It is also not oily, like its appearance. The dry Rendang is moist because it absorbs the coconut milk and all spices and herbs that used in the cooking process. Because of this special cooking method, it can last longer. If you keep it a room temperature, it can last for four weeks. However, if you store it in the freezer, you can keep it for up to six months.
Speaking about Rendang’s cooking method, there is one thing that we found interesting and unique. First of all, this food uses the slow-cooked method. You use coconut milk to boil the meat, plus spices and herbs. The process took hours to finish. Normally, to cook a proper Rendang, you need to cook it for around six hours. You have to stir slowly to prevent the coconut milk from burning.
This process is done until the meat becomes tender, and all spices and herbs seep into the meat. Therefore, when you bite the Rendang meat, the inside of the meat is also dark. That is the sign that the spices and herbs have been absorbed by the meat. And, it enriches the taste of the meat.
The other thing that you should know, Rendang, in the local language, is not considered as the meat dish that you know as Rendang. Rendang come from “merendang” word. In the local language, it means slowly cooking the food. You do it until the liquid is reduced, using a pot or frying pan on a small fire. Therefore, we also can find various foods that use this method and different ingredients.
However, because the most popular food that uses the slow cooking method is the Beef Rendang, people know this kind of food cooked in the slow cooking method as Rendang. You can use other types of meat, though. For example, there is chicken Rendang and even fish. Of course, the way you cook those ingredients is different from the Rendang that uses beef.
How to Enjoy Rendang
People in Minangkabau usually enjoy Rendang with ketupat, which is rice wrapped in palm leaves and steamed. However, if it is too difficult for you to find it, you also can use hot white rice. Place enough Rendang on top of it, use a spoon to take a bit of it, and enjoy. Guaranteed, you will taste delicious Rendang.
Rendang has a long history and journey from its original recipe to the Rendang recipe that we all know. Currently, Rendang is considered Indonesia’s national dish. It also has been designated as the intangible cultural heritage by the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture. That is everything that you need to know about beef rendang indonesia. Now, you are ready to enjoy it. Or, are you interested in making it? Try it now!