Piendang with beef or mutton and soy sauce (piendang kecap)


I think mutton is great food during these dark days before Christmas (well on this part of the planet ;-). For me mutton is not easy to get, that’s why I use lamb meat in stead. Lamb when made well is tender and fragrant. This dish can also be made with beef, but the simmering time needs to be more than one hour. Beef needs at least 2,5 hours to become tender.

This recipe is enough for 2-3 people and ready in an hour.

Piendang beef or mutton with kecap (piendang kecap) #151 translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch kookboek, page 153.


1/2 kg of beef or mutton
2 tablespoons oil
1/4 l water


3 tablespoons of chopped onions
1 chopped garlic clove
1 teaspoon of sambal terasi (chili salsa with shrimp paste)
1 teaspoon of galangal
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
1 lemongrass stalk
tamarind the size of a walnut
2 tablespoons of kecap (soy sauce)

Cut the meat into chunks and boil it until half done. Stir onions, garlic, sambal terasi, galangal, ginger and tamarind (deseeded) together and fry briefly in the oil. Add the meat to it and finish the dish with the water, soy sauce and lemongrass. Let this simmer for about an hour.


You can see how beautiful this lamb meat is. I love the color and the little bit of fat. I use some fresh galangal. Because it needs to simmer for a while the root will give off enough flavor. I finished my sambal terasi (chili salsa with shrimp paste) so I add fresh peppers and some trassi. I buy trassi at my local Asian store. Shrimp paste is also used in Thai cuisine as well.


The herbs and spices do not need to be rubbed in a mortar. They can go in to the pan all together. I use ginger powder, but for this dish you can use fresh ginger too.


It already smells wonderful now. The onions turn yellow and start to shine. The meat can go in.


I use as a cast iron pan. I think that works the best with this dish. The meat stays warm longer and therefore becomes more tender.


This is tamarind or ‘asem’ in Indonesian. I buy it at my Asian store. This tamarind has already been filtered. I dilute a tablespoon with warm water and add it to the meat. Tamarind ensures that the meat becomes tender.


I use a extra sweet soy sauce or kecap manis. Sweetness is great with lamb and also makes the meat more tender.


The water can go in now. I always use boiling hot water. I never add cold water. I get the impression that it makes meat less tender. I add water until the meat is almost covered but not completely. This is the right amount for a nice sauce.


I let my lamb simmer for about 30 minutes. Lamb does not need longer. With beef it’s different. That needs about 2,5 hours to become tender.


We serve our piendang with gulai telor and lalab with tomato. I see Christmas colors ;-)!

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