This recipe is from Kupang, located on the Indonesian island of Timor. The smoky flavour of the beef matches well with a spicy sauce made with chillies and herbs.
- 2 kg chuck steak, cut into 15 – 25 cm strips
- curing salt
- Ceylon oak (kayu kesambi) branches, for smoking
- banana leaf, cut in half
Spiced chilli sauce (sambal lu’at)
- 250 g red chillies (see note)
- 25 g garlic
- 25 g ginger
- 25 g galangal
- 25 g basil
- 25 g coriander
- ½ lime, juiced
- 1 tsp salt or chicken stock powder
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- Rub the meat with salt, pepper and the curing salt, and set aside.
- Build and light a fire, and allow the wood to burn so it has hot embers below.
- Place the meat on a smoking rack set approximately 60 cm above the fire. Cover the meat with a large bunch of the kesambi branches and the banana leaf, placed directly on top of the kesambi.
- Add more wood, keep the heat constant and let the smoke generate gently. Cook beef for about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, to make sauce, wash and dry all ingredients, and wipe off excess moisture. Using a pestle and mortar or food processor, mince chillies. Set aside.
- Peel garlic, ginger and the galangal, and finely chop. Finely slice basil and coriander.
- Mix all the prepared ingredients thoroughly, then add the lime juice and salt or stock powder to taste. Transfer to a clean jar (see note).
- Remove beef from the heat and serve with the chilli sauce.
• Birdseye chillies are best for this recipe.
• Store the jar of sauce in a cool dry place. It tastes so much better if consumed after 2 days of fermentation. This sambal will normally last for several weeks.
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