I've been talking about going back to school a lot, up to the time it feels like I'm just bluffing. Well, it's quite hard for middle-class family like us who are still improving our life. It's just sad that we're too poor to afford childcare, but yet we make too much to get childcare benefit. This has been worrying me for the past couple years, I've decided to stop overthinking shit and make a move. So I applied to culinary school and applied for the financial aid. Just wish me luck.
With so many instant spices available, what I could've done was bought the rendang instant spice package and cook it. But I hate shortcut. Not because, "Ooh, shortcut is for loser blahblah. I'm fancy. I'm cool, that's why I make things from scratch. Shortcut doesn't taste as good as homemade." Nope. It's just because I like making things from scratch, it's for personal satisfaction. I just love the act of cooking. It makes me feel good. This is my vice.
This lovely spicy Padang beef stew might not look sleek or sexy or classy. But who cares? Back in Jakarta when my parents got Padang take-out, they always jokingly said "THIS MUST HAVE CRACK IN IT!", it's quite addictive. My dad said they might put a bit of opium in it (I think he's joking. He MUST be joking...) Don't worry, you can make this without having to harvest some illegal ingredients...
- 1 kg beef brisket
- 2 liters thick coconut milk
- 450 gr red base sauce (recipe included at the end of the post)
- 5 kaffir lime leaves
- 5 bay leaves
- 5 tbsp tamarind water
- 3 lemongrass, bruised
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted
- 1 tsp whole black pepper
- 4 cm ginger
- 4 cm galangal
- 1 tbsp salt
- Grind the coriander seeds, whole black pepper, ginger, galangal and salt into a paste (or use mortar and pestle).
- Soften the piece of beef, using a mallet (good for taking out your frustration). Cut into 10x10x1 cm pieces.
- Combine coconut milk with red base sauce, ground spices, lime leaves, bay leaves, tamarind water and lemongrass in a pot. Bring it to noil.
- Put in the beef, give it a stir and cook until the beef softens and the liquid thickens.
- Lower the heat to simmer, and keep cooking. Stir it often until the liquid dries out and it'll be oily. Ready to serve.
- Or you can toss everything into the slow cooker (low or medium setting)..... cook until the beef is soft enough to be cut with fork, then turn your slow cooker to high and let it cook til it dries out.
- 5 tbsp vegetable oil
- 100 ml water
- 150 gr red chilies, discard the seeds (I didn't discard them, but it'll be super spicy)
- 40 gr shallots
- 35 gr garlic
- 5 candlenuts, fried and sliced thinly
- 10 gr galangal, sliced
- 10 gr ginger, sliced
- Grind the chilies, shallots, garlic, candlenuts, galangal and ginger (or use mortar and pestle).
- Heat oil on low heat, stir fry the ground spices until fragrant.
- Add the water until the whole thing thickens. Pour into a heatproof jar/bowl. Once it cools down, cover and store in the refrigerator. Ready to be used.