Quick Beef Rendang 

7am Monday morning.

 Mother’s Day is over with a bang. Ollie has just been reminded of the 24 hour devices ban (no telly, iPad) due to the remote-throwing incident last night. 

He storms out of the bedroom. At the door he turns dramatically and says,  “It’s pathetic!” 

I feel quite pleased for him. Daisy’s been banding that word around a lot recently, normally aimed at Ollie, and he’s been desperate to use it too, except he doesn’t have a clue what it means. 

The ‘pathetic’ outburst must’ve made him feel better because he arrives back in the bedroom five minutes later. “Happy Valentine’s Day, mum!”

He is brandishing a Mother’s Day present made at pre-school. He put it in a safe place (the shoe rack) and has only just found it. It’s a lovely clay pot with buttons pushed into it as decoration. 

I tell Daisy that her blog post last night was very popular: its readership smashed any daily record of mine. She’s very level-headed about it, and not for the first time, I’m glad she does not seem to have taken on my excitable, some would say, highly strung tendencies. 

It is a very cold, grey day, but at pick up the unexpected happens: the clouds part and the sun comes out. I’ve been indoors most of the day, so I persuade the children outside with a post-school hot chocolate. 

Ollie spots my Mother’s Day chocolates on the tray and squawks that he wants a ‘Boozy Boozy chocolate’. What a great name! I wonder if Booja would consider rebranding?

We have lots of roast beef left from yesterday so I decide to make a quick version of Rendang. It’s an Indonesian dish which appeals a lot because I lived there for a period. It should take about four hours to slowly cook the beef, but this version takes the flavour and does it in half an hour. Incredibly tasty way to use up leftovers.

Ingredients: serves 2

  • onion, one
  • ginger, thumb-sized piece
  • garlic, two cloves
  • coriander stalks, bunch of
  • turmeric, half tsp
  • cinnamon, half tsp
  • lemongrass, one tsp (I only had dried)
  • dried red chilli, half
  • star anise*, one
  • keffir lime leaves*two: torn
  • coconut oil, one tbsp
  • coconut milk, half a tin: 200g
  • 200ml of water or leftover beef gravy
  • 225g leftover beef, roughly chopped

To serve

  • lime, juice and zest
  • dessicated coconut*, toasted if you can be bothered!
  • coriander leaves, bunch of
  • poppodoms*(not typical Indonesian fare but good with it!)
  • 240g jasmine or basmati rice



Put the following into a food processor and blitz into a paste: onion, ginger, garlic, chilli, coriander stalks, turmeric, cinnamon and lemongrass. 

Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the lime leaves and star anise. Fry for a minute until fragrant.

Add the paste to the pan and fry on a low heat for 10-15 minutes until golden. Add a little more coconut oil if needed. Stir occasionally.

Add the beef to the pan, plus the coconut milk and 200ml of liquid (water/beef stock/left over gravy). Season, bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. 

Grate the lime zest from half of the lime and squeeze in a quarter of the lime juice. Serve with coriander and dessicated coconut, with poppodoms or chapatis on the side.

Inspired in part by Jamie Oliver’s Beef Randang. 

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