Tonight was the Beef Rendang.
I made the spice paste in my mortar and pestal, and cooked it in oil. I remembered to grab the camera just after I'd added the beef, cinnamon, cardamom and star anise.
Then I added the coconut milk and brought it to a gentle simmer. This was at 2:00 pm.
At about 4:15, I got worried. Although it had been gently simmering, it sure didn't seem to be reducing like I thought it would. Since I had a meeting tonight, I needed to have dinner on the table not much after 6:00 pm, so I dumped the works into a skillet. The oil has started to separate, just like Molly said it would. I added the lime leaves (from my own little tree) at this point.
Then, I made a quick trip to school to pick up Peter.
When I got home, this stuff had reduced considerably. I quit taking pictures to get Heidi off the bus and hear about the kids days.
I started the rice cooker and cut up some broccoli and minced some garlic, and turned the meat again.
Rice done, broccoli stir fried, and everything into bowls. This is what the skillet looked like with most of the beef in the serving bowl.
Peter plated up and took this picture
This was an absolutely wonderful dish. Everyone loved it (except Heidi, but I knew she wouldn't!). Paul and Diana wished that there had been more sauce, but admitted that they wished I'd made a saucier broccoli (they like some juice on their rice). This dry braise is very rich, and very deep with a lot of complex flavors. Wonderful for a family dinner, a dinner party or a pot luck. I didn't have the kind of dried peppers she recommended, so I used the small Thai dried peppers. I used 5 of them, but next time I will up it to 7 or 8 of them -- the coconut milk really does tame them, but there was still an ever-so-subtle heat. I did use fresh galagal, but dried tumeric. Although the cubes fry in oil, there is still quite a bit of the coconut milk sediment, so these cubes don't get as crispy as carnitas.
This one will have a fairly regular rotation on the menu. They would be good in the summer, and I can see making this one with chicken thighs, as well.