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Tag Archives: tamarind

Nose to Tail Slow Cooker Beef Rendang

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I love trying out different cuts of meat from my butcher. I popped in around midday in Saturday, hoping to pick up some beef short ribs as I really fancied making something rich in collagen and full of the goodness of grass-fed beef bones. They had already sold out of short ribs, so I decided to go with oxtail instead. Then something else caught my eye – beef cheek! I’ve had it before in restaurants, but never tried cooking it myself. I bought one with the idea in my mind of ‘beefing up’ (pardon the pun) my oxtail dish.

I wasn’t exactly sure what on earth I was going to make with these random cow parts, so I had a flip through some of my favourite recipe books to get ideas. Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey piqued my interest as I already had some bits and pieces from the Thai supermarket lurking in the fridge. I decided I would make my own take on his Beef Rendang recipe (a Malaysian curry).

Nose to Tail Slow Cooker Beef Rendang (serves 3)
Ingredients:

For the spice paste:
60g desiccated coconut, toasted in a dry wok
6 dried birds eye chillies
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
6 cloves garlic
4 shallots (small)
4 red chillies, deseeded

For the beef:
1 tbsp coconut oil
6 kafir lime leaves
2 stalks lemongrass, slit down the middle
160ml coconut cream
1 large cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 tbsp tamarind paste mixed in 120ml boiling water
15 drops stevia liquid
1 beef cheek cut into chunks
3 large pieces oxtail
1/2 cup cilantro leaves

Make spice paste by placing all ingredients into a food processor and blitzing until it forms a thick goo.
Melt coconut oil in a large pan or wok.
Add oxtail sand beef cheek and sear on all sides.
Add in the spice paste and fry for 1 min.
Add in remaining ingredients (except cilantro) and mix well.
Transfer to slow cooker and leave to cook for 4-6 hrs on high.
Just before serving, stir in cilantro leaves and sprinkle a few on top to make it look pretty!

I served this with mashed swede and rainbow chard sautéed in coconut oil, as that is what I had in the fridge. This would be great served with cauliflower ‘rice’.

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Asian Baked Salmon Wrapped in Pandan Leaf with Roasted Chilli Broccoli

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I’m feeling so exhausted today. Those of you who don’t know me personally probably don’t know that before I became a personal trainer, I used to be a professional belly dancer. Yes, you read that right! To cut a long story short, I had a dancing job last night in a casino for an Arabic event. I was supposed to dance at 11.45 (yes, pm!) but I ended up going onstage at 12.15 and finishing at 12.45! There was a time when I would have thought “great, an early finish” as I often used to finish at 3 or 4am! Nowadays I generally follow my bodies circadian rhythms not go completely against them. Therefore I am really suffering today, despite having had 8 hrs of sleep! I haven’t even had the energy to workout today. It has really driven home to me that I could never go back to that nocturnal, sleep deprived lifestyle! Once in a while is fine though.

This was a pretty simple and quick dish, and if you don’t have any pandan leaves to hand (let’s face it, unless you live in Southeast Asia, it’s pretty unlikely), you can just bake the salmon uncovered.

Asian Baked Salmon Wrapped in Pandan Leaf with Roasted Chilli Broccoli (serves 2)
Ingredients:

For the salmon:
1 shallot
1 1/2″ piece ginger, peeled
3 cloves garlic
1 red chilli, deseeded
1/2 tsp palm sugar
1/2 tsp tamarind paste
1 tsp water
1 tbsp coconut aminos
1/2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 salmon fillets
2 pandan leaves

For the broccoli:
1 head broccoli cut into florets
1 red chilli, sliced
1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
Himalayan salt

Put all the ingredients for the salmon except the salmon fillets and pandan leaves in a food processor and blitz until it forms a smooth but slightly runny paste.
Pour the paste into a ziplock bag, add the salmon and leave to marinate for an hour or more.
Preheat the oven to 170C.
Wrap each salmon fillet in a pandan leaf and secure with a toothpick. Place in an ovenproof dish.
Put the broccoli florets into an ovenproof dish.
Sprinkle over the chilli, salt and sesame oil.
Place both dishes into the oven and bake for around 20 mins.
Remove the pandan leaves before devouring the salmon (they aren’t edible, just for flavour)