cooking Delicious beef cheek rendang

This time for welcoming the new year 2018, I choose to make rendang from cheek part of the beef. It contains collagen makes this type of meat very succulent, moist, tender after an extended period of slow cooking. Besides that, why I loved to try this part of beef is because the price is relatively lower than the other piece of meat. For making this batch, I managed to get two kilos from the market.



05 big size shallots (10 if using mini size shallots)
02 big garlic as in the picture (or about 8-10 pieces of regular garlic)
01 thumb size of ginger
01 cinnamon stick
02 pieces star anise
02 thumb size turmeric
02 stalks of lemongrass
02 kefir lime leaves
06 pieces cardamom
03 pieces cloves
03 pieces candle nuts
02 bay leaves
75grams chili powder or 06 big red chili
03 tablespoon of coconut oil
750ml coconut milk
salt and pepper

02 kilograms beef cheek (cut into bite size, wash clean)


  1. Into the food processor, blend until making smooth paste: shallots, garlic, ginger, turmeric, candle nuts, a dash of coconut oil.
  2. Prepare a cooking pot, heat the paste (high heat) then add chili powder, cloves, star anise, cardamom, cinnamon stick, kefir lime leaves, bayleaves and crushed lemongrass. Quick saute the paste until nice golden brown color and aromatic.
  3. Beef cheek into the pot, stir together with the aromatic paste, wait a little while until they are caramelized. Lower the heat to medium.
  4. Pour the coconut milk into the pot. Stir well and season with salt and pepper. Here I use 01 tablespoon of salt per kilogram of meat. The amount of salt can be reduced. Start with one tablespoon first and gradually add according to preference.
  5. After about 90minutes of cooking, here we reached stage one of making rendang. This stage one of rendang is called kalio. At this time, the dish is edible, meat is soft but not reaching the maximum tenderness yet.
  6. Continue about another 30 minutes to reduce the amount of water from the coconut milk. Once the meat is soft and tender enough, you can stop here. Sometimes when impatience and too hungry (lol) I would stop here and just start enjoying them with some rice. The left over (once cooling down), keep in the fridge for the next day, and to the next step.
  7. Heat up another time, reduce until the whole gravy is really gone but not to dry or just heat up. What I did is adding some vegetable into the dish. It can be string beans, red beans, or potatoes.


  • Good to have:
    • turmeric leaves to add an extra depth of flavor
    • a thumb size of galangal
  • To crush a lemongrass stalks, I am using the back of the knife. Crush it until the aroma from its natural oil coming out, then knot the stalks.
  • Below is the picture from the next following day, when all the meat is gone but still have so much gravy, I am using remaining rendang sauce to cook long string beans. Wash clean some long string beans, cut into bite-size, cook until tender (roughly about 5 minutes). Then it is ready to serve.

I am using the red pepper powder that I bought in Korean Mart (sometimes can be easily be found in Asian Groceries stores). I am using this powder as a substitution to fresh pepper. I usually use this powder when making homemade kimchi. Highly recommended to use if big red chillis are available. Just remove the seeds inside and using only the flesh.


Peel and cut all the ingredients into small parts. This way, the food processor will thank us for enlightening its burden. It also prevent the machine from overheating.