Beef stew from Aceh

This dish is for meat lovers. For lots of people Christmas is not complete without well prepared high quality beef. We ourselves are going for fish (Pepesan) this year. But I really like this beef stew from Aceh too.  The beef is extremely delicious because of the lovely broth it needs to simmer in for a few hours. The color looks Christmassy already (yellow because of the turmeric).

I topped my beef stew with jeruk purut. So beautiful and tasty because of the smell!

This dish is enough for 2-3 people and finished in 3 hours.

Stewed beef from Aceh translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch Kookboek, pagina 163.


1/2 kg of beef
1/6 block of santen (coconut cream)
3 cups of water


3 tablespoons of chopped onions
1 chopped garlic clove
3 teaspoons of sambal oelek
2 teaspoons of coriander
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1 lemongrass stalk
asem (tamarind) the size of a walnut

Rub onions, garlic, chilli, coriander, turmeric, asem and salt and pepper into a paste. Cut the meat in dices and marinate in the spice mixture. Bring the water to the boil with the santen and the lemongrass. Let the beef simmer in this mix until tender.

I go for luxury beef from Irish cattle. I can buy this at my local supermarket. I have some coconut milk leftover so I replace the santen with my milk. It is about 2 dl of coconut milk and 1 cup of water.

I buy tamarind in a jar at my Toko. This tamarind has been filtered.

I use for this amount of meat 1,5 teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper. Always taste before serving your dish, maybe it needs just a little bit more salt.

We’re all pretty busy the days before Christmas, so I give myself a break and mix the bumbu with my blender; fast and smooth.

The meat is in dices and it needs to marinate in the herbs for a few minutes. I let it rest while I bring my coconut milk and water to the boil.

There is one tablespoon of bumbu left over. I mix that throught the broth already. When it gently simmers I slide in the meat carefully. The simmering gently now. The meat can glide slowly. Everything needs quite some time. With the lid half on the pan, let it gently simmer for at least 2 hours.

Do not forget the lemon grass stalk. I have just given it a few blows with a wooden spoon.

Creamy, fragrant and a really good one for Christmas. This beef stew from Aceh is a really delicious stew. Selamat makan!

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1 Response

  1. Kevin boot says:

    Indonesian receipe

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