INCREDIBLE Short Rib Rendang (Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker Or Stove Top)!

Beef Short Rib Rendang

Beef rendang gets the gourmet treatment by using beef short ribs! This gorgeous cut of beef is just made for an intensely gorgeous rendang curry and here I show you four different ways to do this: on the stovetop, oven, pressure cooker or slow cooker! This is a pushy recipe Dear Reader!

Each type of cooker produces a gorgeous beef rendang and which one you choose basically depends on the amount of time that you have. The pressure cooker rendang takes 1.5 hours, the stovetop rendang version takes 3.5 hours while the slow cooker takes 8.5 hours but very little has to be done in this time so once you start cooking it, you just leave it to cook away until you get lusciously tender short ribs!

Beef Short Rib Rendang

Out of the stovetop, oven, pressure cooker and slow cooker I prefer making this in the pressure cooker the most because I'm impatient and I need to shoot the photographs before it gets dark. I'm just not a slow cooker person but I get that people love them if they work in an office and can just set it to cook while they're out and then come home to dinner made. But a little note: sometimes I find that these slow cooked beef cuts take longer than other batches. I'm not sure why, perhaps it has to do with the beef itself. So leave yourself plenty of time.

Beef Short Rib Rendang
Flanken style short ribs

What are short ribs? These are the cut from forequarter after the brisket is removed. They are cut two ways: Flanken style with a short portion of the rib bone with meat and fat layers or English style with the meat cut parallel to the bone with a rectangular piece of meat on top. Both cuts will work in this recipe. Short ribs are ideal for braising and have a lot of flavour. They have a luscious texture thanks to the distribution of fat.

Bone in vs boneless: I LOVE bone-in meat because the bone is where the flavour is especially when you cook it in stews or curries. Pleeeease get bone in beef short ribs for this recipe. If you don't like picking bones out of your food then this is the perfect recipe for you because the meat slips off the bone really easily and the bones are so large that it's easy to spot and remove them before serving them.

Chilli size: I always go for hot, small chillies but you go for whatever you're comfortable with. The general rule is that the smaller the chilli, the hotter it is as the heat is concentrated. This is because smaller chillies have more seeds and vein and this is where most of the Capsaicin is found which is what is responsible for the heat.

Beef Short Rib Rendang

White pepper vs black pepper: A lot of Asian recipes use white pepper instead of black pepper. White pepper is more aromatic than black pepper. But if you don't have white pepper, you can use black pepper.

Galangal: Galangal is similar look to ginger but has a different flavour. Ginger is warm and highly aromatic while galangal is milder. It can be a bit harder to get galangal so you can substitute it with 3/4 the quantity of ginger.

Serve the rendang with: coconut rice or curry leaf rice. I served this with some roti.

Along with doing the rendang, this past week has been full of household renovations. I think I've been spurred to do this because we spend so much time at home but also because I've always been a bit embarrased by our apartment. It's never been stylish especially when seeing my friend's apartments and I don't often invite people over because of this. Neither of us have an eye for decorating so our place is sort of just thrown together.

However I've discovered something rather wonderful: artificial plants! I mean I haven't only just discovered them but I was watching The Project and host Carrie Bickmore said that having fake plants changed her life and it was as a lightbulb went off in my head! I could do that too!

Beef Short Rib Rendang
Please ignore tangle of wires. One step at a time...

You see I kill every plant and everything about keeping a plant alive is a challenge for me. Dogs and humans are easy but for some reason I am hopeless with plants (and sourdough starters). The thing is that I hate that they die, it kills my soul when a plant dies in my care. So I bought some faux plants online and within a few days they arrived.

So now we have a revamped house, with lots of (faux) greenery and do you know what? It's a place that I'm happy to have people over at!

So tell me Dear Reader, do you cook short ribs often? Are you a stovepot pot, slow cooker or pressure cooker sort of person? And do you use white pepper much?

Beef Short Rib Rendang

Beef Short Rib Rendang

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An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: From 1.5 hours to 8.5 hours (depending on method)

Serves: 6-8 people with rice or roti

  • 1.6kgs/3.5lbs. beef short ribs (bone in, weight including bones, flanken or English cut)
  • 3 teaspoons/15mls/0.5oz tamarind puree
  • 2 teaspoons/10ml/0.3oz sugar
  • 2 teaspoon/10ml/0.3oz salt
  • 150g/5ozs. desiccated coconut, toasted

Spice Paste

  • 3 yellow onions, peeled and quartered
  • 3-4 red chillies (size depending on how hot you want it)
  • 2.5cm/1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
  • 3 slices galangal
  • 5 stalks base of lemongrass, split in half horizontally
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tablespoon/20ml/0.7ozs sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper


  • 2 tablespoons/40ml/1.4flozs. oil
  • 2 cups/500ml/17flozs. beef stock
  • 400ml/14flozs. coconut cream

Step 1 - Mix the beef with the tamarind, sugar, salt and coconut together in a bowl and set aside.

Beef Short Rib Rendang

Step 2 - Then add all of the ingredients for the spice paste into a food processor and blend until you get a fine paste. I did it in the Thermomix for 30 seconds at speed 5 scraping down the sides half way.

Beef Short Rib Rendang

Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker Beef Short Rib Rendang (1 hour 30 minutes)

Beef Short Rib Rendang
Frying the spice paste

i) Set the cooker to saute and add 1 tablespoon of oil and fry the spice paste. This will take 20-25 minutes or so to cook it dow to caramelise it. Add a bit more oil if it needs it but it will be ready once it really starts to sizzle and dry out.

Beef Short Rib Rendang
Adding the short ribs, stock and half of the coconut cream

Beef Short Rib Rendang
Setting to high

ii) Place the ribs and coconut mixture in the cooker and coat so that the spice paste and coconut is combined and covers the short ribs. Add the stock and half of the coconut cream. Place the lid on and set to high pressure and cook for 45 minutes.

Beef Short Rib Rendang
After the 45 minute cook

iii) After 45 minutes, release the pressure and add the rest of the coconut cream and stir. Place the lid on the set to high pressure and cook for 15 minutes. Release the pressure and allow to cool a little and serve.

Beef Short Rib Rendang
Releasing the pressure

Beef Short Rib Rendang
After the additional 15 minute cook-tender short ribs

Slow Cooker Beef Short Rib Rendang (8 hours 20 minutes)

i) Set slow cooker on sear (HIGH) setting and add the oil and cook spice paste for 20-25 minutes. Add beef and coconut mixture, stock and the coconut cream. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Stovetop Beef Short Rib Rendang (2.5-3 hours)

i) Heat a large pot (you'll need a very large pot) onto medium high heat and add the oil and cook spice paste for 20-25 minutes stirring well. Add beef and coconut mixture, stock and the coconut cream and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 3 hours or until beef is very tender.

Oven Beef Short Rib Rendang (2.5-3 hours)

i) Preheat oven to 180C/350F and have a large, deep baking dish ready. Heat a saucepan onto medium high heat and add the oil and cook the spice paste for 20-25 minutes stirring well. Place the beef and coconut mixture with the spice paste in the baking dish and turn so that the beef pieces are coated in the spices and then add the stock and coconut cream. Cover well with two layers of foil and bake for 2.5 hours. Remove the foil and turn the ribs over and roast for another 30 minutes uncovered to darken and until sauce is thickened and beef is soft.

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