Opor with beef and pineapple (Daging Opor)

You need patience with this Opor with beef and pineapple dish but it is totally worth it. This Indonesian beef stew needs to simmer for at least 3 hours.

This is a particularly tender loving dish. The combination with potato makes it comforting and it even looks like a typical Dutch hachee dinner.

Opor with beef (Daging Opor) # 175 translated from Groot Indonesisch Kookboek, Beb Vuyk, page 170.


1/2 kg beefsteaks
1/2 kg of potatoes
1 can of pineapple
1/4 block santen (coconut cream)
4 tablespoons oil


5 tablespoons of chopped onions
4 chopped cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon coriander (ketumbar)
1 teaspoon laos (galangal)
1/2 teaspoon roasted terasi (shrimp paste) 
1 tablespoon of vinegar

Peel the potatoes, cut into dices and cook half done. Also, cut the pineapple into small square pieces. Rub onions, garlic, coriander, galangal, terasi and salt together until it turns into a paste. Sauté the onions until they are yellow. Then add the meat, the pineapple pieces, and santen and let it all simmer until the meat is tender. Add the potatoes and let it simmer a little bit longer until the oil comes out of the beef. Finish the dish with the vinegar.

Terasi and coriander smell great together. The tropical taste of the pineapple tops it off. The pineapple also helps the meat to get really tender. It’s a great combination. The perfect dish to eat after a long cold forest walk or a chilly but sunny spring day. It will definitely warm you up.

For the terasi (trassi) I use a paste, not the roasted version Beb suggests. I think it works well with this dish. The paste is smooth and blends well in the mortar. If you use the dry, roasted version make sure to chop it finely otherwise it doesn’t blend well.

Beb uses galangal as a powder, but this recipe is perfect for galangal as a root. If you can get fresh galangal than use a piece the size of 5 centimeters.

I use beef with a little bit of fat in them. The fat makes the meat extra tender. I cut the meat into 2-centimeter cubes.

I rub onions, garlic, coriander, galangal, trassi and salt together in my mortar. I use a teaspoon of salt for this amount of meat. But I always taste when the dish is finished if it needs more.

I sauté the herb mix from the mortar in the pan. When the onions turn yellow I add the meat, the pineapple, and  the santen into the pan and stir it through.

Santen is coconut cream. It is sold in the supermarket or at specialist Asian stores. You can use coconut milk instead of santen. 

The beef needs some fluids to simmer in. Beb doesn’t mention any. When the liquid from the pineapple tin is not enough; add some extra warm water until the beef is almost under.

Now it has to simmer for about 2,5 – 3 hours. I keep the lid halfway on the pan. This way it can reduce but not too much. If the liquids vaporize to fast, add some warm water during simmering.

When the meat is tender, I add the potatoes. They need just a little more time to be done; about 5 minutes.

Now everything is added except for the vinegar. Before serving I add one tablespoon. Vinegar is an important ingredient. It makes the dish light, fresh and enhances the sweet flavors of the pineapple.

I serve my opor with meat and pineapple with spring onions and parsley and eat it with homemade sambal trassi. ?

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