Venison Rendang – Write On? – Right On!

The questions

  • How do you find time to write the blog?
  • Who pays you for the blog?
  • Do you earn much from the blog?

The answers

  • I don’t know
  • No
  • No

The follow-on question

Why do you do it?

I do it because I enjoy a number of aspects of the process. I love cooking and I learn lots as I go. I am learning about how little I know about photography and I’m getting a bit better at it. I love and hate writing in equal measure.

Proof that I enjoy the photography.

But most of all, I get huge pleasure from the people I meet through the blog. I smile inwardly (and often outwardly) when somebody tells me of trying and enjoying one of my recipes.

I get an occasional snarky comment from some deluded soul. But, that’s life and I’m sure they will get over whatever is really bothering them.

Over the years of writing, I have made friends across the world. I have visited some and welcomed some to Ireland. Conversations go on between Ireland, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Hong Kong, India, Tanzania, Norway, Holland, numerous of the United States and (as they used to say) all points west.

But all that won’t get the venison rendang cooked. Here’s what you will need.

Ingredients (for 6+ people)

  • 1.5 kilo(3lbs) diced venison
  • 4 or 5 stalks of lemongrass
  • 8cm (3”) piece of ginger
  • 8cm (3”) piece of galangal
  • 100 gms or so of desiccated coconut
  • 3 or 4 Kaffir lime leaves
  • Half a bulb of garlic
  • 4 or 5 shallots
  • 3 or 4 fresh chillies
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of palm sugar
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 800ml (2 tins) of coconut milk

Peel as appropriate and roughly chop the garlic, galangal and chillies. Peel the outer layer of the lemongrass. Chop it up. Put all the chopped stuff in a blender with the fish sauce and blitz to a paste.

It looks nicer before it gets blended, smells amazing after.

Add this paste to a large wok with a little oil and fry, stirring until your eyes water and the mix turns a nice brown colour.

There is no need to say what it looks like, It smells amazing.

Add the cumin seeds to a frying pan. Fry until darl brown and fragrant. Grind to a powder in a mortar. Add the shredded coconut cream to the frying pan and cook over a low heat. It will melt and turn a lovely dark brown.

The coconut really goes a lovely colour.

Add the meat and browned coconut to the spice mixture in the wok. Stir to combine over a medium heat. When the meat is well-covered, add the coconut milk, palm sugar, cinnamon and Kaffir lime leaves.

There is lots of flavour n here now.

Bring this to a gentle boil and turn down to a simmer. Over the course of the next four hours, you will need to stir it at ever shortening intervals. Use the available time to make some garlic flatbreads or rice to accompany.

This will take hours to reduce, if you do it properly.

The rendang is ready when there is almost no liquid left in the wok. The venison will have taken on all the flavours and textures of the other ingredients. This is not for the faint hearted. There is lots of stirring and the end result is punchy, though not hot. It was lovely with the flatbreads.

I enjoyed a glass of three of a punchy Spanish red wine with it. You could too.

If you have read the above, feel free to leave a comment below. I really will appreciate it. As long as some of you do, I will write on.

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Latest comments
  • This is one I’ll have to reserve to try later, much later. I just don’t have time right now for the extensive stirring this needs while we’re moving house and I’m spending so much quality time amongst the cardboard boxes. But given a substitution of roo for venison, all the ingredients are easily sourced here.

      • So far, pretty hideously tiring, but I’m slowly getting the kitchen up and running.

  • This is a wonderful recipe. I agree about blogging, although I love the writing part. I would bet we’ve all been surprised about the connections we’ve made, both virtual and thankfully in person as well, as a result of blogging. That’s definitely the best part.

      • I can’t imagine you as a one-dimensional bore. No way!

  • I will soon complete ten years of blogging, and I have to say I enjoy it now more than I did when I started. The learning thing is one of the fascinating aspects of blogging – I cannot say I am good at photography, but I definitely expanded my culinary skills through keeping the site.

    and of course, the exchanges with great food bloggers such as yourself, is a bonus!

    (how’s THAT for a little ego massage?)

  • Pretty much the same reasons why I blog. Although I also use it to write down recipes for myself, to be able to recreate them when I want to. Yours is an interesting variety of Rendang. First time I see cinnamon used in it. You should try my sous vide technique 🙂

  • Venison sounds perfect for rendang!

  • “I get an occasional snarky comment from some deluded soul. But, that’s life and I’m sure they will get over whatever is really bothering them”

    Hi Conor, I enjoy your blog immensely…I’m a dub too so enjoy any references to local or Irish produce and suppliers etc…great stuff.
    However the above quote from your recent post is, I feel, unwarranted and beneath you….you write a blog, you will be subject to criticism from every angle, ignorance included.
    Please don’t spoil your posts by being petty and responding to whatever criticisms are thrown at you…
    It’s not the point of your blog.
    Take care.

  • Altho’ I knew I probably would not be able to compose my own blog I began ‘visiting’ blogs about eight years ago. Because I was not physically travelling the way I used to and I loved the new info. Unexpectedly the best part has been getting close to the likeminded: something I knew not to anticipate but have tremendously enjoyed . . .I had no idea the warmth and laughter meeting the same person three or four times a day on the different blogs would bring. Can buy venison on line and have your other ‘stuff’ ay home . . . can I get venison for the weekend . . . 🙂 ?

  • Compared to my “usual” venison recipes, this is quite exotic. I’m sure it’s wonderful and smells intoxicating! I’m all about the olfactory effect, how it makes the kitchen smell. I’m going to save this one for when my daughters (junior deer slayers) come home for a visit.
    P.S. I’d love for you to do tutorials on food photography.

  • I always love stopping by to read your posts for your creativity…your witty and clever words, wonderfully inspiring food and terrific photography. I hope you are always part of my world of blogging friends…the only one in Ireland as far as I know.

  • I so enjoy your blogs Connor; the clever content, the beautiful photos and the recipes make always bring a smile to my face, and this rendang is no exception – it hits the mark again.
    As to blogging, I dipped my toes into it a few years ago at the suggestion of a friend who thought the creative outlet might help me tolerate the soul destroying assignment I was doing at work. She was right and I fell instantly in like with it. Since then I have embarked on my studies to become a trained chef, and blogging served as a means to journal the experience and what I am learning. Also, I have made connections with like minded people around the world, which is an added bonus.

  • Yours is the only blog I read as most are so wordy and ghastly- I can almost hear the people squealing over some food item…’re a very cool guy. I love your recipes but living in darkest Brittany I find it hard to get all the ingredients… galangal, kefir leaves, lemon grass….even venison is difficult to source except at Christmas lol But, I can read and imagine the wonderful scents and flavours. We don’t suffer here, i hasten to add. Plenty of good things to eat……

  • Well posted Conor! I too can relate to your answer as to why you blog. Your Venison Rendang looks especially tasty. Must be that ever-improving photography and of course your culinary skills. I really like your knife and pepper shot.

  • This is so funny – we made beef rendang this last weekend! You veal version looks and sounds lovely! I was so excited to see it!

    I started blogging for my daughter to help her and her friends to learn how to shop on a budget, using recipes to illustrate the points but my blog has morphed over the years as my circumstances changed. What kept me blogging was completely unexpected – the connections, the friends, the encouraging comments and the challenges (especially the technical and the photography!) And I love to share!

    You are certainly an inspiration for me, Conor and I so enjoy your posts even when I haven’t commented. I am so guilty of doing just what Islay said: Gushing on in long posts and squealing about my food! I did start using ads so the blog could start paying for itself but I’ve yet to make a profit or find fame and riches. 🙂 My answers to the first question: I love blogging so I let it take over my life!


  • Oh my gosh, you were a shark! 🙂 I have a feeling you were just as good at that as you are at cooking, photography, blogging, biking and probably any endeavor you attempt! You’re very talented and your blog is a joy – I look forward to every post!

    I had and have a lot of angst about the ads – I paid for a business site for years to keep my site ad free, too, but had some tough financial decisions after taking care of my folks, going back & forth from Mpls to South Dakota for 2 1/2 years. It was either try to make this hobby pay for itself, start over with a new site, or stop blogging. We’ll have to see how it goes because so far the ads aren’t covering the expenses but they help! But I hate them!

      • That’s good to know and I appreciate our weigh in; unfortunately it all makes it slow but if it covers the plan and the widgets and plug ins and such I’ll be happy! Best to you, Conor and I’ll just keep on carrying on! 🙂 Can’t seem to help myself, lol!!

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