- How do you find time to write the blog?
- Who pays you for the blog?
- Do you earn much from the blog?
- I don’t know
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.