Stew is considered one of the most popular comfort foods worldwide, and Indonesia is no exception, as it has its own version of stew. In Indonesia, there are various types of stews, but one of the most well-known is Semur Daging, also known as Indonesian Beef Stew.
Indonesian beef stew, usually served with rice, is a beloved dish in Indonesia, particularly among those who live in Java. The flavors of this beef stew are a delightful combination of spiciness, sweetness, and richness. If you’re interested in preparing this beef stew, no need to worry since the recipe for beef stew is relatively easy. So, without further ado, here is the recipe for Indonesian beef stew.
What is Indonesian Beef Stew?
Indonesian beef stew is a dish that draws its inspiration from the Dutch “Smoor,” which is why it is also referred to as Semur in Indonesia. This culinary creation was introduced to Indonesia through the kitchens of Dutch colonial officials and the Nyai that got married.
In the 17th century, Smoor evolved from a simple beef stew with tomatoes and onions into a rich, spiced dish that incorporated sweet soy sauce, a unique Indonesian product.
Semur is prepared by simmering the ingredients over low heat until the meat becomes tender. The meat is cooked in a dark brown sauce made from Indonesian spices and sweet soy sauce, also known as kecap manis.
Kecap manis is the essential ingredient that gives the stew its distinct Indonesian flavor. It is commonly found in various Indonesian dishes, including nasi goreng, mie goreng, bakso, and many others. The sweet taste of kecap manis complements the array of spices used in the semur recipe.
Furthermore, Indonesian stew is not limited to beef alone. You can also create delicious Indonesian stews using hard-boiled eggs, chicken, potatoes, vegetables, and even fish.
Preparation For Indonesian Beef Stew
Before we get started with the Indonesian beef stew recipe, you will need to prepare some ingredients and utensils. Here are some of them that you might need.
Indonesian Beef Stew Ingredients
The ingredients of semur daging are easy and simple. You can find the ingredients easily in the supermarket or Asian market in your area. Check the ingredients below.
- 500 grams of beef brisket, cut into pieces
- 2 medium size potatoes, diced
- 5 tsp nutmeg powder
- 5 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tomatoes, cut into pieces
- 2 bay leaves
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 5 tbsp Sweet Soy Sauce
- 1 tsp MSG (optional)
- 800 ml of water
- 2 tbsp oil
- 12 small shallot
- 6 garlic
- 5 candlenut
- 3 cm ginger
Utensils for Cooking Indonesian Beef Stew
Indonesian beef stew, or semur, is a quite simple dish, so you will only require a few kitchen utensils to prepare it. Since semur is cooked over low heat for an extended period, a slow cooker can be highly beneficial. Additionally, using a slow cooker for Indonesian beef stew results in a more tender dish due to the slow cooking technique.
If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can also use a frying pan or a wok. Here are some kitchen utensils you might need for beef stew recipes.
- Frying pan or wok, you also can use a slow cooker instead if you don’t have both.
- Pestle and mortar, or if you don’t have it, just use a chopper
- Saucepan for slow cooking of the meat
How to Cook Indonesian Beef Stew
1. Grind the shallot, garlic, candlenut, and ginger using a pestle and mortar. Alternatively, you can use a chopper to make the process easier.
2. Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the ground spices, nutmeg, cumin, and bay leaves until fragrant and well-cooked.
3. Next, add the meat and stir-fry until it becomes stiff.
4. Transfer the beef to a saucepan.
5. Pour in water, salt, sweet soy sauce, and MSG. Bring the water to a boil, then cover the saucepan with a lid. Reduce the heat and simmer until the meat is partially tender.
6. Once the meat has reached a semi-tender state, add the potatoes. Cover the saucepan again and continue cooking until the meat becomes tender.
7. When the meat is tender, add the tomatoes and stir until they wilt.
8. Turn off the stove and serve your beef stew with white or brown rice.
Ready to Cook the Indonesian Beef Stew Recipe?
So, that’s all about how to make semur authentically with simple steps. You can recreate this recipe at home by obtaining all the ingredients from your local supermarket or Asian market. Moreover, you won’t require many utensils to make it delicious.
However, if grinding the spices on your own seems too challenging, you can opt for instant semur seasoning from Nyahtewel. Simply sauté the seasoning, add the meat, pour water, and cook until the meat becomes tender. It’s super easy and everyone can do it, even those without any cooking skill!
- What kind of meat do you use for Indonesian beef stew?
The meat used in meat stew dishes is typically cooked slowly over low heat for an extended period, allowing the spices in the gravy to permeate the meat thoroughly. To achieve a consistent and delicious taste, it is recommended to use beef quads (chuck) or brisket. This particular cut of meat contains a significant amount of fat. Aside from being well-suited for making stews, this meat is also ideal for preparing dishes such as rawon, soup, and various other Indonesian soups.
- How long does it take to cook the beef in semur until tender?
To achieve tender meat in the semur daging, you can simmer the cutlets for 75 minutes.
- What is semur?
Indonesian beef stew, known as semur, is a boiled meat dish from Indonesia. It is prepared using a dark brown gravy made from sweet soy sauce, shallots, nutmeg, and various other spices. The key ingredient in this stew is kecap manis, which is a sweet soy sauce.
- How do semur taste?
Semur has a distinctive taste with lots and lots of spices. Semur is processed using soy sauce and a little gravy which makes it taste sweet
- Where does Semur come from?
Semur is an Indonesian dish inspired by the Dutch Smoor, which means slow meat simmering with tomatoes and onions.