I had been thinking about Rawon (an Indonesian black beef soup) since I had a small portion of it a my sister's place in Indonesia a few months ago. Here is my family's version of this dish courtesy of my Mom.
2 lb beef stew meat
6 large garlic cloves
4 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
10 black nut (kluwek), rinsed and soaked in warm water
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
salt & pepper
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1-inch galangal, peeled and bruised
4 kaffir lime leaves, bruised
1 stalk lemongrass
2 bay leaves, torn in half
2 tablespoons palm sugar
1 red chili, cut into strips
3 green onions, chopped
hard boiled eggs
- Cook the beef stew meat cubes in a pressure cooker for 30 minutes to help the meat becomes tender quickly without having to simmer the soup for hours.
- Take out the meat cubes and save the strained beef broth.
- Using a mortar and pestle, grind the garlic, shallot and coriander seeds in batches with some salt and white pepper. Put the mashed-up mixture into a food processor, add in the turmeric powder, kluwek meat, grated ginger and red chili flakes and grind/puree until smooth.
- In a heavy bottom pan, heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil over a medium heat and stir fry the spice paste for a couple of minutes until fragrant.
- Add in the galangal, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass and torn bay leaves and stir fry some more for a couple of minutes or so.
- Add in the cooked meat cubes, mix well so the cubes are coated with the spice paste and cook for a minute or two.
- Add in enough strained beef stock (or water) to completely cover the meat plus an extra inch and cook until boil.
- When the soup is boiling, lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pan and let simmer for 30 minutes or so until the spice flavor is absorbed by the meat.
- In the mean time, you can make several hard boiled eggs and blanch the beansprouts (optional).
- Add the chopped green onions and red chili strips and adjust seasoning by adding salt, pepper or palm sugar accordingly.
- Serve over rice with halved hard boiled eggs, blanched beansprouts and shrimp crackers (if you have any).