This is a very popular Indonesian dish, with chunks of beef stewed in coconut and spices.
- 2 lbs (1 kg) top round or stewing beef, cut into bite-sized chunks
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 cups (500 ml) coconut cream
- 3 cups (750 ml) thick coconut milk
- 2 salam leaves
- 3 kaffir lime leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 tablespoons shaved palm sugar or dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Crispy Fried Shallots
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 3 in (8 cm) fresh galangal, sliced
- 2 stalks lemongrass, tender inner part of bottom third only, sliced
- 2 in (5 cm) fresh ginger, sliced
- 3-4 red finger-length chilies, deseeded
- 8-10 shallots, peeled and sliced
- 8-10 cloves garlic, peeled
How to Make It
- Make the Spice Paste by grinding all the ingredients very coarsely in a mortar or blender, adding a little coconut cream if necessary to keep the mixture turning.
- Heat the oil in a wok over high heat and stir-fry the Spice Paste until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the beef chunks and all the other ingredients, except the Crispy Fried Shallots, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer uncovered for about 1 hour, then reduce the heat to low and continue simmering for 1 more hour, stirring from time to time until the meat is very tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. By this time, the oil will have separated from the milk. Continue to stir-fry the beef for about 25 minutes until it turns a dark brown color, then remove from the heat.
- Transfer the beef to a serving platter, garnish with Crispy Fried Shallots and serve with steamed rice. This dish actually tastes better if left to sit for several hours, or even overnight in the refrigerator, then stir-fry it again for several minutes before serving.