Wednesday, June 9, 2010

balinese beef stew

The first time I made the Balinese beef stew (bali daging), I put in too much tamarind and chilli that it just tasted very sour and spicy. I made a few adjustments and the second time was definitely milder, more balanced. I am quite proud of it actually, it's not as good as how the cook used to make it, but I do have time to keep perfecting it.

Balinese beef stew
by the cook

  • 750g of beef shin, sliced 1 cm thick
  • 2 small red chillies
  • 7 large red chillies, seeded (or 4 red capsicum, seeded)
  • 3 slices of ginger, minced
  • 1 bulb of garlic, crushed
  • 1tbsp of tamarind, soaked in water
  • 2tbsp shaved palm sugar
  • half a dozen of eggs
  • sweet soy sauce, to taste
  • salt, to taste

  1. If you have a pressure cooker, cook the beef slices for 40 minutes. If not, cook the beef slices in water. Bring to a boil and simmer for at least 1.5 hours.
  2. Blender the small red chillies, large red chillies, ginger, garlic, tamarind (without the soaking water), palm sugar, 1 tbsp of salt, 2 tbsp of oil together to make a smooth pulp
  3. Fry the smooth pulp mixture until fragrant, then add the beef slices that you've cooked for 1.5 hours. Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for another hour. Let the pulp mixture reduce, thicken and caramelise. Add boiling water when the mixture gets too reduced, but do this moderately because if you add water too often and too much, it won't caramelise. Caramelisation is key to this dish.
  4. After an hour, add the sweet soy sauce, for colour and for taste. The colour should be a dark orangey-red from the caramelisation. Simmer for a further 30 minutes, at least.
  5. In the mean time, boil 4-6 eggs briefly, firm enough to be peeled off their shells (about 5-7 minutes from boiling point)
  6. Add the peeled eggs to the beef stew for the last 15 minutes of the stew's cooking time.


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