Over the last couple of days I made both the Sumatran beef dish and the Javanese cauliflower dish I mentioned earlier. There are some Indonesian ingredients you may be unfamiliar with that I'll talk about in a separate post, but the recipes themselves, both from The Indonesian Kitchen by Copeland Marks with Mintari Soeharjo, are quite straightforward. Actually, the beef stew recipe was rather too straightforward:
1. put everything into a pot and boil until cooked.
I put that at the world's fourth oldest recipe after
1. bury in ashes, wait until cooked,
1. impale on stick,
2. suspend over fire until cooked,
1. tenderize with rock.
Since I do have access to a modern American-style kitchen I added a few steps to improve the flavors and textures.
Asam Pade Daging
Sumatran Hot and Sour Beef
2 pound boneless beef chuck or round eye roast, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup thin-sliced onions
5 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 slice fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons salt
1 piece of laos
2 salam leaves
1 stalk lemongrass
6 kemiri nuts, crushed
1 tablespoon crushed fresh or dried hot red chile pepper
2 tablespoons tamarind, dissolved in 3 tablespoons water (this is actually an enormous amount of tamarind and the dominant flavor in the dish)
4 cups water
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Brown beef in batches with a tablespoon of oil in dutch oven. Remove to bowl.
3. Briefly sauté onions, garlic, ginger, chile, salt and turmeric in beef drippings to release flavors.
4. Return beef and add the rest of the ingredients. Cover dutch oven and place in real oven. Cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until beef is tender.
5. Bring dutch oven to stovetop and remove beef with a slotted spoon. Boil sauce down to 1 cup. Return beef.
6. Serve over rice with a bit of sambal.
Sambal Goreng Bloemkool
Javanese Cauliflower Stew
1/4 cup sliced onion
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 small fresh hot green chiles, sliced thin
1 pound cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 cup coconut milk
1 salam leaf
1 piece of laos
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon shrimp paste
1 teaspoon tamarind, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup cubed ripe tomato
1. Fry the onion, garlic and chiles in a tablespoon of oil for two minutes on high heat. Add the cauliflower and fry for two minutes more.
2. Add the coconut milk, salam leaves, laos, salt, sugar, shrimp paste and tamarind liquid. Cook five minutes over medium heat, stirring and basting frequently.
3. Add tomatoes and cook three minutes more.
4. Cauliflower should be tender but still crunchy. Serve over rice with a drizzle of kecap manis.