Semur Daging Kecap (Indonesian Beef Stew – Pressure Cooker or Stove Top)

1 kg beef you can use chuck, round, rump
2 Tbsp butter, melted
Water see instruction for the amount
50 gr bean thread noodles optional

Aromatics:
8 shallots thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
1 inch fresh ginger

Herbs:
2 bay leaves

Seasonings:
4 Tbsp kecap manis
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp coconut sugar or more to taste
Salt to taste

Spices:
1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
Vegetables (cut into large chunks if cooking with Instant Pot):
2 large potatoes peeled and cut into large chunks
2 large tomatoes quartered

Garnishes:
Fried crispy shallots
Chinese celery leaves finely chopped

Grind the aromatics:

Place ingredients for aromatics in food processor and grind into fine pieces or a paste.

Cooking with pressure cooker:
Melt the butter in an inner pot of Instant Pot pressure cooker. Add in ground aromatics and stir fry for about 5 minutes. Add the beef, herb, spice, and seasonings. Add potatoes and tomatoes. Pour in the 1/4 cup of water (yes, I know that sounds like not much at all). Stir to mix. Not much liquid is lost and you’ll be surprised by how much liquid you ended up with later. Scrape the bottom of the pot to make sure nothing is stuck there.

Cover the lid. Turn the steam release valve to “sealing”. Set timer to 25 minutes and make sure it’s on “high pressure”. Wait 5 minutes and then release pressure completely after that. Unlock the lid and have a taste and season with salt if needed. It should be savory and slightly sweet. Proceed to serving.

Cooking on the stove:
Melt the butter in a large pot. Add in ground aromatics, nutmeg and bay leaves. Stir fry until fragrant. Add the beef and seasonings. Pour in the 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil and lower the heat and slowly simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the meat is tender. Add the potatoes and tomatoes after 30 minutes of cooking. Gently stir everything to mix. Have a taste and season with salt if needed. It should be slightly sweet from the sweet soy sauce.

When ready to serve:
If using cellophane noodles, blanch the cellophane noodles in boiling water, it just take few seconds to soften. Portion into individual bowl and portion out the beef and potatoes over each bowl. Laddle the hot broth over the noodles. Garnish with fried shallot crisp and celery leaves. Drizzle with some kecap manis and you are good to go. Or just serve this with rice on the side.

Notes:
Traditionally, we used deep-fried potatoes, you can deep fry the potatoes or you can just add the potatoes and carrots in 30 minutes before end of cooking time. Roasting or deep-frying the potatoes first sure makes it taste even better.

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