Semur Betawi (Batavian beef stew), is a beef dish which is cooked slowly using mix ground spices. Since I live in Belgium in the area of dutch speaking, I found out that the word "semur" is actually coming from dutch word "smoor or smoren" which means slow cooking. The method to make semur is the same as making "gesmoord/gestoofd rund" (Engl. translated "beef stew"), only the ingredients are different. So during colonial time, there were mixtures of foods culture between Dutch and Indonesian. According to a dutch book I found out that this semur betawi is one of old recipes from before the war. So fascinating to know about this.
Anyway I love semur betawi. This traditional dish is not easy to find when you visit Jakarta. Even you might find one in some restaurants it's not always the same as the original made by the batavians themselves. I used to live in batavians area where many original batavians lived. Everytime they celebrated such as wedding, during Ramadhan or end of Ramadhan, they always brought some foods to be given to their neighbours. It was always a joy for us everytime they came to bring us some of their traditional foods, such as kue pepe, kue satu, kue bakar, dodol, tape uli, nasi uduk, nasi ulam, semur betawi and many others. Perhaps someday I'll put all those batavian recipes here as rememberance for my children and grandchildren.
250 gr beef
5 red onions, thin slices
3 garlics, thin slices
2 salam leafs
1 tomato, cut in cubes
2 cm galanga / laos
2 cm ginger / jahe
1 lemongrass / sereh
6 tablespoons sweet soy sauce / kecap manis
Water as needed
salt & pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg powder
1. Cut the beef in thin slices.
2. Heat the butter in the pan, add with red onions and garlics. Cook until fragrant.
3. Then add the beef together with salam leafs, galanga, ginger, lemongrass, tomato and cloves. Stir all together and add water as much as needed.
4. Then add the kecap manis and stir well. Cover the pan and simmer until the meat is tender. Add water again if it's too dry.
**You can also add with slices baked potatoes at the end of the cooking.