I love beef. In any form. Hamburgers, BBQ, steak, chili, curry, rendang, beef noodles, whatever. Mmm...I love my "gubak"! And another thing I love is a good robust beef soup. One with loads of vegetables and a good spice mix.
The spices used in this soup are cinnamon sticks, star anise, cardamoms, cloves, fennel, cumin and coriander seeds. I once cooked a soup similar to this and though the soup was good, my complaint was that I had all these pesky spices swimming all over my soup. It is not a nice experience having something grainy in your soup and biting into the spices is not nice at all. So I wised up and bundled them in two pieces of gauze. Yup, surgical gauze.
Then I tied up the pouch with kitchen twine. This went into the soup together with ginger, lemongrass and cinnamon stick.
So the first thing I did was boil a big pot of water and threw in the spice pouch, cinnamon stick, ginger and lemongrass and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, I sliced the beef and boiled it in another pot of water. I did this to remove the blood, scum and strong smell. True enough, the water was bloody and murky and had an unpleasant smell. Then I drained the beef slices and rinsed it under running water.
I brought the soup back on the boil and added the carrots, white radish, celery, tomatoes and the beef slices. Then I let it simmer for 2 hours. It is always nice to sprinkle the soup with crispy fried shallots as it adds a lot of flavor to the soup. But laziness got the better of me (as it always does) and what I did was to fry some onions till wilted and then added some mined garlic. Once the garlic was browned, I tipped the whole lot, oil and all into the soup (I did not use a lot of oil, just enough to fry the onions and garlic. Stop hyperventilating!).
And then a generous sprinkling of freshly cracked pepper. Lots and lots of it! To serve, I garnished the soup with spring onions and coriander. Chinese parsley (daun soup) is also a good garnish but I did not have this. This soup made a very good low carbohydrate meal for me.
Recipe source : Adapted from Table For Two.....or More
- 700g beef
- 2 carrots, cut into cubes
- 1 daikon, cut into cubes
- 2 ribs celery, sliced
- 4 tomatoes, cut into halves
- 3 stalks lemongrass, crushed
- 1 thumbsized ginger, crushed
- 2" cinnamon stick
- 2 star anise
- 4 cardamoms
- 4 cloves
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 2 cubes of beef or chicken stock (I find beef stock too strong and I use chicken stock. Yeah go ahead and laugh)
- 1.5 litres water
- Coriander leaves and spring onions to garnish
For onion and garlic oil
- 1 big onion, sliced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
1. Put star anise, cardamoms, cloves, fennel, cumin and coriander seeds into a muslin bag (or in my case, I used gauze).
2. Bring 1.5 liters water to a boil in a pot. Add spice pouch, cinnamon stick, lemongrass, ginger and stock cubes. Simmer for about 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, slice beef. Bring another pot of water to the boil and blanch the beef to clean it of blood and scum. Remove beef to a colander and rinse under running tap water. Drain.
4. Add beef, carrots, daikon, tomatoes and celery into the simmering pot and bring to a boil. Then simmer for about 2 hours or until beef is tender.
5. Just before the soup is done, heat oil in a wok and fry sliced onion until wilted. Add garlic and fry until garlic turns brown. Tip the onion, garlic and oil into the soup.
6. Season with lots of freshly cracked black pepper.
7. Garnish with coriander leaves and spring onions before serving.