Slow Cooked Rendang Curry (with Coconut Oil!)

Have you ever cooked using Coconut Oil? Well, I hadn’t but when I saw this fab challenge from HIBS100 to come up with a recipe using Vita Coco Coconut Oil, I decided to give it a go! Therefore, this recipe is an entry into the #Swearbyit challenge with Vita Coco. Find more great coconut oil recipes and tips on using coconut oil at www.swearbyit.com

My coconut oil arrived through the post and is organic, cold-pressed and, as they say at Vita Coco, ready to impress!

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This one little pot of delicious smelling divineness (ok, made up word!) can  be used for cooking, baking, nourishing hair and lots more. Once I started talking about it to people I found out I was behind the times as they’re already converted! Pah! So, here’s my catch-up lesson.

As we’re off sweet stuff (in theory) at the moment I decided to go for a savoury dish, and as I was so in the dark about coconut oil, I decided a visit to our local butcher was in order. He’s a really helpful guy who comes up with some brilliant ideas himself and who is currently working on a range of “takeaway” meals so people can eat fresh but quickly if they’re in a hurry. He’d not tried coconut oil yet either (maybe another convert?!) but between us we decided that curry seemed like a natural choice to cook up something extra tasty. To my eternal shame, when he mentioned Rendang I’d never heard of it – to the extent I had to get him to spell it out so I could write it down so I could start searching for the curry paste! I left with some beef and that hunting gleam in my eye!

Before trotting up there, I phoned the local supermarket to see if they had any Rendang  Curry Sauce – I was very pleased they’d never heard of it either and I ended up spelling it for them too! I was even more pleased that they had it in stock – aisle 5, right hand side, cashier end if you’re ever in my local supermarket…..

So, that was 2 ingredients sorted.  I decided, as Kev’s working away at the moment, with a drive home of anything from 1 1/2 hours (more depending on road and weather conditions) a slow cooker recipe seemed to be a good idea.

I gathered together some other ingredients which I thought would go well and this turned out to be my final list –

RECIPE

1tbsp Coconut Oil
Bunch of spring onions (You could use ordinary onion but I was going for “the look”!)
1.5lb diced braising steak
2tbsp Rendang Curry Paste
Tin of chopped tomatoes
Tin of coconut milk
Red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

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METHOD

Melt 1tbsp coconut oil in a frying pan and add spring onions, cut whichever way you prefer – I went length-ways….not sure why!

Spoon onions into slow cooker and turn up heat before adding seasoned beef to the frying pan.

Flash fry beef, adding 2tbsp Rendang Curry Paste as you stir. Once the meat is browned, pop the whole lot into the slow cooker.

Lower the heat on frying pan and add the tin of tomatoes in order to de-glaze the pan and to get all the delicious flavours from the pan to the slow cooker.

Tip tomatoes into slow cooker.

Pour coconut milk into slow cooker.

You could at this point add the sliced red pepper but I decided to leave mine until an hour before the end of cooking time so that they’d have a bit more texture to them.

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Pop the lid on the slow cooker and set it according to your instruction manual. As we were eating at an undetermined time, I put mine on low heat and left it on for approximately 7 hours.

As Rendang is Asian inspired (yup, afraid I was educated by the lid of the jar to start with!) I decided to serve the curry with plain long grain rice to which I added a few squishes of lime juice together with a light grating of the rind of the lime, just for another dash of colour!

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Given that I’d tackled so many firsts in one go, I was SO pleased with the resulting meal. It was an absolute triumph, if I say so myself!

We’ve got lots more coconut oil left (tho some is going to go on my bumpy bits on my arms….ta to my sister for that advice!!) and some of the curry paste too so we’ll definitely be having this again. Yay! Thank you so much to HIBS100 and Vita Coco for the inspiration and for giving me a kick into trying something new – I’d forgotten how much I enjoy it! And thank you very much to my local butcher at Porkies (!). If ever you get stuck for ideas, a trip to your local independent butcher may well be your best first step too….

 

 

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No new toy for the kitchen :(

At this point I was hoping to tell you about my marvelous new find which I couldn’t live without, but instead I’m here having a good old moan as I reload it into a box and shove it in the car boot sale pile!

This is the offending item – if you have one and have found it to be fabulous, I apologise for my moaning but it’s left me a bit “narked” (to be polite about it!).

IMG_2638Looks great doesn’t it? I bought it in the sale (thank goodness!) at Lakeland. I ordered it online. I don’t think I’d have bought it if I’d seen it in the shop and read the back of the box. Of course I took it out of the cupboard the minute I intended making bread….and then read the care and use instructions. Here we go, ready for this (I might have been a bit naive not to expect this…)

1. Immerse the form completely in clean warm water allowing to soak for 30 minutes (okay, can go away for half an hour and then make bread.)

2. Rub veg oil onto inner surface to coat it entirely.

3. Place in a cold oven and increase the heat to 220 degrees c.

4. Bake the form for approx 25 minutes or until oil has dried completely (hmmm, an hour before I can get the bread in the oven….but then with proving etc that should still work).

5. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely and naturally.

6. Repeat steps 2 to 5 again.

Grrrrr. No bread today then. But I carried out all of the instructions (twice!) and put off the bread making until the following day.

IMG_2644So, up with the lark (ha,ha!) the following day and bread made and in the oven.  One of the attractions of buying this was that it came with two recipes and I’m always happy to try something new. I decided on the Cheddar & Red Onion Flavour Bread. It turned out to be very odd as only the middle roll had any of the onion filling, making it very strongly flavoured, and the others just had a sprinkling of cheese inside and on top.

When it came out of the oven it looked pretty good….but then I tipped it upside down so I could tap the bottom to make sure it was fully cooked….and it wouldn’t move….. After some prising not a lot was happening still…. It was well and truly stuck. Nothing for it but to rip and hang the consequences of pretty unappetising bread – although I guess with hindsight it had been called Tear and Share!

IMG_2647As the form of the rolls had disappeared during cooking I did wonder if my mixture had been too wet and perhaps I had caused the sticking problem? Not wishing to condemn it and never use it again I decided to give it another go the following day using a bread mix, with the thought that if it was “user error” making it stick, that might solve it. The result was exactly the same. I know I followed the prep of the form to the letter (twice!) so can only conclude that me and the flower form are not going to get on. Just to prove to myself that I hadn’t lost any bread making skill I might have ever had, I went ahead and made bread rolls the following week, free forming them into a flower shape and baking them. The results are far better. Erm, so good in fact that the sixth roll mysteriously disappeared before I could take the photo! This is how I will go from now on.

Roll on car boot sale season….unless anyone else fancies giving it a go to prove me wrong?!

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