Making this delicious Indonesian classic, Beef Rendang, in the instant pot is a breeze. Beef chunks flavored with freshly made spice paste are cooked until tender in the pressure cooker then simmered in coconut milk resulting in a caramelized, rich and tasty meat dish! Seriously, the best beef curry ever – Beef Rendang.
About a couple of years ago when I was in the process of making my cookbook Rice. Noodles. Yum. (Everyone’s Favorite Southeast Asian Dishes), I got the chance to travel around Southeast Asia.
I traveled primarily to research authentic recipes to include in our cookbook and learn how to make it. It was such a wonderful and memorable trip.
Not only did my tummy get filled with so many delicious dishes while I was there, but it was also such a joy to meet so many lovely people who went out of their way to help me write the book by sharing their recipes unselfishly and teaching me how to make them for everyone to enjoy. What an unbelievable experience it was and I do pray I get to revisit them all someday.
One of the countries I visited was Indonesia. In particular, I went to Bali. Yes, that Bali.
This was the last leg of my Southeast Asian trip so I brought my sweet sister Eunice with me so we could celebrate after all the hard work and have a little R&R by the beach. If you want to see our album on our trip to Bali, check it out here.
Naturally, I made sure to try as many yummy dishes I could while I was visiting Bali. I didn’t limit myself to just rice and noodle dishes even though that’s what I came there for.
I had to have some delicious Beef Rendang because I had been craving this dish even before we visited Indonesia.
Thankfully, my cooking class teacher recommended a good warung place to visit while we were there.
A warung, by the way, is the Indonesian term for a cafe or restaurant, usually small and family-owned. You won’t miss them in Bali as they’re all over the place.
My sister and I were not disappointed as we truly enjoyed the food and even the beef rendang was pretty good.
Memories of that wonderful trip made me crave beef rendang again. However, I didn’t fancy waiting for hours just to get my hands on tasty rendang so I decided to make an instant pot version so I could enjoy my favorite beef curry dish in a much shorter time and without a lot of fuss.
I know I already have a very good basic recipe for beef rendang and it’s received so many wonderful reviews both on this blog and on Pinterest so I didn’t have to make so many adjustments save for adapting it for the pressure cooker.
I have made this beef rendang in the instant pot twice already and I am truly happy with the results.
I am so delighted with how it came out that from now on, this is how I’d make beef rendang it as it’s so much easier and I need only one pot to make everything!
The secret for this tasty rendang is the secret spice paste that I’m sharing with you all today. Ideally, it would be best if you could get the actual ingredients required to make the paste, like the galangal plus the lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves so you get to taste the authentic and deliciously complex flavors of beef rendang.
But, if you cannot, because not everyone has a nearby Asian store, fret not because I have added what substitute you can use and how to tweak it so you can still achieve a yummy beef dish. Either way, it would be delicious!
Another suggestion I would add is to use a mortar and pestle to make the paste. I know, there’ll be some elbow grease required with that but it’s worth it for the flavors that would be achieved by doing so.
To shorten the process, simply cut up the ingredients in small chunks beforehand so it’s not too difficult to pound them into a paste.
All chefs and cooks I learned from during my southeast Asian trip told me not to do a shortcut when it comes to making a spice paste (whether for beef rendang or curry laksa or any other dish that requires a fresh spice paste) because it is the pounding and grinding in the mortar and pestle that bring out the flavors from the aromatics and spices because the grinding process allows the release of their natural oils which, in turn, means the release of more flavor from the paste. Trust me, this is true based on my experience, too.
Definitely enjoy this dish with rice! Let me know if you’ve tried it. Thanks! Again, if you don’t have an instant pot you can try my stovetop version here.
MORE DELICIOUS INSTANT POT RECIPES for you to try!
EASY INSTANT POT PULLED PORK
INSTANT POT BEEF BURGUNDY
INSTANT POT DILLED POT ROAST
INSTANT POT PORK CARNITAS
Easy Instant Pot Beef Rendang
Making this delicious Indonesian classic Beef Rendang in the instant pot is a breeze. Beef chunks flavored with freshly made spice paste are cooked until tender in the pressure cooker then simmered in coconut milk resulting in a caramelized, rich and tasty meat dish! Seriously, the best beef curry ever – Beef Rendang.
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 onions or 5-6 small shallots, peeled
- 1 inch piece fresh galangal peeled
- 1 long red chili, (like Anaheim pepper or Italian Long Sweet Red chile peppers – mild variety), seeded
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes or 2-4 Thai (finger) red chilis, seeded (adjust to desired heat level)
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin or curry powder
- 2 tbsp oil
- 3 stalks lemongrass (use only the lower whitish portion) bruised or lightly smashed
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled then lightly smashed
- 4 kaffir lime leaves (or bay leaves), or to taste
- 2.2 lbs (1 kilo) stewing beef (like chuck), sliced into 1.5-2 inch chunks and seasoned lightly with salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/5 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 14 oz can coconut milk
- 1 tsp fish sauce or extra salt, as needed
- lime or lemon juice, as needed
In a food processor/blender or mortar and pestle, grind the garlic, chopped onions or shallots, galangal (or extra ginger), and chilis to a smooth paste. To make it easier to breakdown the ingredients, you may wish to add 1-2 tablespoons of oil (optional). Add the ground coriander and cumin to the paste and mix well. Set aside.
Choose the saute setting in the instant pot. Heat the oil and briefly saute the lemongrass, ginger, and kaffir lime leaves until aromatic about 1-2 minutes. Add the spice paste and cook for another 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it darkens in color and begins to form small bubbles on the edges.
Add the beef and coat with the spices. Add the water and sugar then deglaze the pan to remove the brown bits at the bottom. Turn off the sauté mode and cover the pot, putting the valve in the sealed position. Put in manual high pressure for 35 minutes. Allow a natural release for 10 minutes.
Uncover then pour in the coconut milk. Saute and cook, stirring occasionally so beef doesn't stick to the bottom, for 15 minutes or until the sauce has browned or caramelized in color and has thickened (the dish may release some oil at this point, too). Taste and adjust seasoning with a little fish sauce (yum!) or extra salt, as needed. Add a little squeeze of lemon or lime juice as well, if desired, especially if kaffir lime leaves are replaced with bay leaves. You can leave a little bit of sauce to drizzle on your rice or allow the beef to fully dry up and fry in its own oil, it's your choice. Serve with rice or crusty bread.
NOTES: TIPS & TRICKS
If you cannot find galangal (may be bought fresh or frozen at Asian stores), simply double the ginger. Galangal is citrusy in flavor and aroma so it’s different from ginger which is more pungent but the latter may be substituted if galangal is not available.
If you cannot find kaffir lime leaves (available at Asian stores) you may replace them with bay leaves. To add some lemony notes to the dish (if you don’t have the galangal and kaffir lime leaves which give beef rendang some citrus notes) simply add a squeeze of lime or lemon juice at the end of cooking.
Adjust the number of chilis to your desired heat level. Because I have 2 kids who are not into super spicy food I only use 2 red Thai chilies (fresh or dried) so the dish has heat but not too much. Add more Thai chilis if you want spicier rendang.
For an even more robust flavor, sear or brown the beef in batches first using the saute function on your instant pot before adding the spice paste. Proceed with the rest of the instructions.
Just made this, and the meat is SO tender and juicy. I’ll definitely be making this again next week.
My mouth is watering just looking at this delicious beef rendang! I love that it’s an easy pressure cooker recipe! I’m adding this to next week’s meal plan rotation.
Adding this to our weekly menu plan – we love using our IP! Thank you!
I loved it! Packed full of amazing flavors!!
I’ve never heard of this but I love trying new recipes and this one looks delicious! Look forward to trying it!
Yum! All of these ingredients make the perfect beef rendang! I need to pull out my Instant Pot for this one!
This recipe has some of my favorite flavours – lime, ginger and lemongrass! It’ s so good that it can be made in the Instant pot too!
This dish looks absolutely divine! I’m making this for dinner tomorrow.
Traveling to write a cookbook sounds like a dream come true. This beef rendang looks absolutely scrumptious, the fresh spice paste makes a huge difference!
This is such a mouthwatering dish and I can’t wait to make this for everyone. Thank you!
I just need the lemongrass and I can make this. Always looking for a new recipe for the InstaPot
Yum! I have been loving instant pot recipes recently. I will definitely need to try this!
I always love beef recipes. Your recipe seems to be different and tasty. Will try it soon.
I am always looking for new beef recipes! I bet this has so much original flavor! I can’t wait to make this dish.
This instant pot recipe is seriously mouth watering. The caramelization of all the ingredients that happens makes it hard to stop eating!
Just looking at this dish makes me SOO hungry – I am such a beef lover and the flavours in this dish make me want this so badly. Will definitely give this dish a go over the next few days. I am saving this right now!
Thanks and hope you enjoy it.
As an Indonesian who loves rendang too, I will definitely use instant pot to make it. Thank you for sharing good tips!
Wow, I love cooking with coconut milk. It gives nice flavor to the dish. this Instant pot Beef rendang looks delicious.
This turned out great! I usually use a rendang spice paste from the grocery store and add a tea ginger, lemongrass and lime leaves but this turned out so good now I don’t have to use the store bought paste. The timing was perfect, my meat was nice and tender but still has good texture. Will definitely make again.
Glad it worked for you! Yay! Thanks for letting us know. This is one of my fave curry dishes for sure.
This looks amazing! That beef rendang looks so tender and juicy. I love that I can make it in the instant pot too!
My first time making a beef curry and it was delicious! Even my 3 year old enjoyed it. This recipe is a keeper. Thank you!
I love beef rendang and this is one of the best recipes I’ve ever tried at home. It’s so good.
Anything made in the Instant Pot is a winner in my book. Excited to try this Easy Instant Pot Beef Rendang new recipe!
I love how easy this instant pot beef rendang recipe is! Thanks so much for sharing! I will try it for the family, for sure they will love it! thanks a lot! Love it!
This is beyond delicious! Seriously an explosion of amazing flavours. The problem is that you can’t stop eating it…way to good!
I am so delighted to know you enjoyed this instant pot beef rendang! It truly is delicious and more-ish! Thanks for letting us know.
I’ve been eating rendang for decades. I first learned how to make rendang back in 1979, when I lived a few months with a family in a small village in West Sumatra, which is where the dish originates, though many people think it’s a Malaysian dish. Most of the ingredients you list are correct, though you’re missing two ingredients: fresh turmeric leaves (daun kunyit); hard to find in North America so just use fresh turmeric (about a thumb’s length), and please DO NOT use bay leaves!! Use curry leaves (daun salam). Bay leaves are not remotely the same other than looking similar. To make the dish more authentic, cook the sauce down a lot more until the oil really separates from the coconut milk, and begins to fry the meat. Rendang is actually fairly dry, although the Malysian version is more saucy. Also, when cooking traditionally, once the coconut milk begins to separate it’s cooked over a very low heat…I remember the Mother in my house cooking it the entire day. Always tastes even better after it’s sat a day or two as well!! Your recipe looks great, I’ll give it a try (with my modificactions 🙂
I found this recipe a few months ago and have been making it regularly ever since. A friend had some and now tells everyone mine is better than the local takeaway! It is delicious – thanks so much for sharing this one. Ps I make it exactly to the recipe with no substitutions. I found frozen kaffir lime, galangal and lemongrass at my local Asian store.
I am so glad you enjoyed this! Thanks for letting us know. We love this a lot, too. Glad you could find the ingredients.