Chef John's Beef Rendang
The sauce in this amazing Indonesian curry might be invisible, but you'll know it's there. As it reduces, the water evaporates, leaving behind the fat and flavor that make this dish so unique and addictive. Originally, cooking meat this way helped preserve it in hot and humid Indonesia. Turns out, people continued making it long after refrigeration came around. Serve with steamed rice, garnished with cilantro and lime if desired.
Feel free to use a fattier cut like beef shank or short rib in this.
Substitute red onion for the shallots and ginger for the galangal if desired. If you don't have tamarind paste, use zest from a lime and lemon, plus juice from 1 lime.
If you do want some sauce to serve with it, simply add more water during the cooking, or cover for part of the time. If you cook this the day before, as recommended, you'll want to add a big splash of water when you reheat it. Cover until heated through, then uncover, crank the heat, and cook until it's as dry as you like.