Dish: Semur Daging Betawi (Betawi-style Beef Stew)
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 4 hours
Best For: dinner
Serves: 4 - 6 generously
1 lb beef shanks
6 garlic cloves
2 oz ginger
2 bay leaves
5 whole cloves
1.5 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper (white preferable)
3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
5 cups water
1 tablespoon oil
4 large potatoes
3 cups uncooked rice
1 stalk of cilantro for garnish (optional)
Cook rice in the rice cooker or according to package's instructions. Slice beef shanks to palm-size dimensions & half an inch thickness. Finely slice garlic & shallots. Bruise the ginger, lemongrass stalks (if you're using the raw, non-powder version), and whole cloves. Wash the potatoes & dice them. Wash the tomato & dice it.
In a saucepan, heat up oil over medium heat. Saute the garlic, shallots, and ginger until they release their aromas. Put in the lemongrass, bay leaves, and whole cloves, sauté until these aromatics release their aromas too.
Put in the beef shanks, stir. Cook until the beef change color. Put in salt, pepper, dark soy sauce, and nutmeg - stir evenly.
Pour half the water into a Dutch oven or a slow cooker, followed by the beef mixture and the other half of the water. Stir evenly and add the potatoes. Set to cook for 3 hours. At the 3-hour mark, put in diced tomato and stir evenly. Set to cook for another hour without lid to help the stew thickens.
Pour the beef stew onto a large bowl or serving platter. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with hot cooked rice.
DO YOU KNOW ...
That Indonesia has more than two dozens variety of beef stews, one or more for each of the 34 provinces in the country? It is a very popular dish in Indonesia. The version cited in this recipe is the classic version, popularized by the people of West Java. The key ingredients are nutmeg and dark soy sauce (which contributes to the somewhat-sweet taste of the stew). Instead of tomato, some regions in Indonesia (Borneo mostly), add rice vinegar to the stew to give the dish a slightly acidic undertone. Some other still adds red pepper flakes to the stew to make it spicy. Also, instead of potatoes, different regions have made the dish with red beans, macaroni, or mushrooms. I decided to do a post of Indonesian food since I was born there and lived in the country for >18 years. The very first dish I learned to make was Indonesian and to this day, I retain my love of the well-spiced Indonesian food. Many people don't know about Indonesia. Aside from the fact that President Obama used to live in the country and love its bakso (meatball noodle soup) and nasi goreng (fried rice), the average people don't even know that Indonesia is the 4th most populated country in the world. Naturally, I will publish recipes for bakso and nasi goreng in the future, but for this first Indonesian recipe post, I decided to put out one that I've loved since childhood and still make occasionally.
Like what you saw? Sign-up to get more quarterly international recipes: