Beef Stew with Djeroek Poeroet
A few weeks ago we were looking for a nice restaurant, one where we could enjoy a quick, tasty meal and a nice beer. We looked at the menu of De Volkslust and decided this was exactly what we’re looking for. The restaurant originates from Antwerp, Belgium. Some 15 minutes later they brought us a Flemish Beef Stew, served with fried potatoes. It looked and smelled great. And it tasted, eh, slightly different? Of course! Chef used Djeroek Poeroet! Interesting, you would expect bay leaf in a Flemish Stew, but this was definitely djeroek poeroet (or jeruk purut, the leaves of the Kaffir Lime). Great idea. Aromatic, refreshing, light. A few days later we made our version of it.
And typical for a good stew: make it a day in advance.
The obvious choice is a nice, cold beer. Perhaps the one you used for the stew? We used Affligem Blond, an award winning Belgian Blond beer with pleasant bitterness and fruitiness.
If you go for a glass of red wine, make sure it is full-bodied and rich; a wine with dark fruit and a touch of oak.
What You Need (for 4 persons)
- 1 kilo of excellent, fat, marbled Beef
- 2 Shallots
- 250 grams of Button Mushrooms (Champignon de Paris)
- Olive Oil
- 2 bottles (33 cl) of Blond Belgian Beer
- Bouquet Garni (Thyme, Parsley, Chives)
- 6 leaves of Djeroek Poeroet (frozen preferred)
- Black Pepper
What You Do
Slice the meat by following its structure. We prefer bigger parts, so not cubes. They will take longer to cook, but the meat benefits from this approach. Clean the mushrooms and slice the bigger ones in half. Coarsely shop the onion. Heat olive oil in a large pan and fry the meat. You probably will have to do this in 2 or 3 batches. Make sure the meat is nicely colored. Remove the meat from the pan and fry the mushrooms. Remove them when nicely golden, add some more olive oil and caramelize the sliced onions. When ready, add the mushrooms, the beef, the beer, the Bouquet Garni and 6 leaves of djeroek poeroet. Heat through and through. Close the pan and keep on a low heat for 5 to 6 hours. Stir every hour. Check the taste during the cooking process, perhaps you want to remove the djeroek poeroet (or add more!).
When you’re happy withe the cuisson, remove the meat from the pan, discard the bouquet Garni and reduce the sauce. Transfer the meat back into the pan, reheat, then cool and transfer to the refrigerator until the next day.
Serve with unpeeled potatoes fried in olive oil and (homemade) mayonaise.