Saturday, May 12, 2012





Meat and vegetables cooked together, also known as hotpot. Two main types of stew by Oxford dictionary defination:

1-Brown stew in which meat, vegetables, and flour are fried together before stewing, and
2-White stew in which the ingredients are not fried first. Irish stew is a thin white stew (i.e. not thickened with flour).
In culinary terms 'stewing means slowly cooking food in its own juices with the aid of a minimum amount moistening agent in the form of stock, sauce, butter etc.
Ingredients can include meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables (potatoes / beans) and fruits (tomatoes/ peppers).

During cooking, the liquid is flavored by extracts from the stewed food, the result is a highly flavored sauce. Throughout this long process, evaporation is kept to a minimum by covering the stewing pot with a tight fitting lid and simmering the stew on top of the stove or in the oven.

Condensation, which continually forms on the inside of the lid, acts as a self basting process keeping the food moist. Once cooked, the liquid and food are usually served together to form the complete dish. Stew is thicken by reduction.
Stew may also be thicken by adding thickeners such as cornstarch or arrowroot.

If you feel like thickening the stew, you may add roux. Roux is a mix of 50 / 50 butter and flour, used to thicken the stew or to thicken all sorts of sauces/ gravy.
On a medium heat pan, melt butter, then whisk (or vigorously fork in) the flour for about 2 minutes, do non stop whisking to prevent it roux from sticking on the pan.
wikipedia,,cookipedia and few other sources


Semur is an Indonesian stew with thick brown gravy. The main ingredient used are shallots, onions, garlic, nutmeg, cloves  and dark soy sauce (sweet soy / kicap manis). Soy sauce is the most important ingredient in the Semur- because it serves to strengthen the flavor.
Variation from beef, the main ingredient, will be tofu, tempe, eggs and potatoes.
500 grams beef
2 medium size onions
4 garlic cloves
2 large potatoes- quartered
2 large tomatoes- quartered
2 tbsp lemon/ lime juice
4 tbsp dark soy sauce/ kicap manis
2 hardboiled eggs (optional)
Cooking oil

Bumbu mix:

1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
½ tsp cinnamon powder
1 star anise
2 bay leaves (daun salam)
Salt and pepper


Heat up oil and brown the onions. Add garlic and beef until brown. Mix in the bumbu and soy sauce, vinegar and add water enough to cover 3 inches above the beef.
Simmer on a low heat for about 1 hour or until meat is tender. Top up more water if need be, water level should be just about cover the beef. Add  potatoes. After 20 minutes, add tomatoes and eggs. Once tomatoes cooked, put off fire. Done..

Irish stew is classically made with lamb, other than that, there is little difference, really.

Irish stew  is a traditional stew made from lamb or mutton, as well as potatoes, carrots, onions and parsley

Irish stew is a celebrated Irish dish. Purists maintained that the only acceptable and traditional ingredients are neck mutton chops or kid, potatoes, onions, and water. Any other ingredients would be alien and spoil the true flavor of the culinary tradition of the dish, since as early as 1800.

But non purists would add such items as carrots, turnips, and pearl barley. The ingredients are boiled and simmered slowly for up to two hours. Mutton was the dominant ingredient because of the economic importance of sheep. Economically non-viable sheep will end up in the cooking pot.

By Oxford dictionary defination-  Irish stew is a thin white stew, the ingredients are not fried first (white) and not thickened with flour (thin).
Ingredients: Serves 4-5
4 cups of cut rack end lamb chops
4 medium size potatoes- cut into halves
2 large carrots, each cut into 4 (big chunks)
1 large onion- cut into cubes
Sprigs of fresh thyme and 1 tbsp dried thyme
½ cup fresh chop fresh parsley
4 good shakes of “Lea & Perrins” Worcestershire sauce
About 4 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper

Use the bony parts of lamb, it will produce the best flavor for this rustic stew. Rack end chops would be great.
Marinade the lamb with thyme, parsley, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce for about half hour.

Melt butter in a large cooking pot, stir in onion, when golden, add in lamb, stir for 3-4 minutes and mix with water, which is about double the height of lamb. Turn to high heat, once water boils, switch to low fire. Cover the pot (to prevent drying) partially with a lid (to avoid overflowing from the pot) and let the stew simmer for 1 hour.
Add in the potatoes and carrots, simmer for another half hour. Done, serve hot with bread.


  1. Nice to know about different stews..
    I prefer the Indonesian one .. spicy.

    1. hi shobha, thanks for being here, i like spicy stew too- we got asian taste buds.ha ha. i like the irish stew as well, it has its own unique flavor,simple in preparation but very tasty due to the meticulous lamb meat selection. have a nice day

  2. Stew is my fav and I don't think I am so concern where the stew comes from because these are perfect for me to dig into with a bowl of white rice.

    1. hi nava, thanks for coming, may be your innovative self can create one stew for me to savor- a spicy one. have a nice day

  3. happy mothers day
    stew rice tasty dish

  4. Both the stews sounds delicious,perfect with rice,will try both the versions,thanks for sharing..have a nice day:)

    1. hi suja, thank you and i am sure you have your own special favorite stew.. i can these with bread also. have a nice day

  5. oh yummy stew!!:) Thanks for sharing about two kinds of stew Wan! :) I always love spicy , so want to try the Indonesian stew..:)

    Thanks a lot my dear Wan!:) Happy Mother's Day!:)

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. hi Linda, Happy mothers day to you?... no no, sorry, all the while i thought you are the mom. ha ha, you are so beautiful. dear friend, have a nice day, i shall keep your pic. Likewise, would love to meet up with you also :).

  6. stew sounds super good..
    happy mothers day to you too dear..:)
    Tasty Appetite

    1. hi jay, HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO YOU. Thanks and have a nice day

  7. Love both stew but prefer to add some chili padi in them! Happy Mother's Day to you!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Hi treat n trick, a very HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO YOU>>> great you ada anak2 yang baik- rezki you la tu . have a wonderful sunday- yes, cili padi is great :)

  9. Replies
    1. hi yummy chunklet..thanks and have a nice day

  10. I love any kind of slow cooked food!
    Great recipes Wan...

    1. hi jasna. happy mothers day to you,i guess slow cooked food brings out the tastes and blends all ingredient flavors in the gravy/sauce. have a nice day

  11. Love stew, when I use the boney parts I sometimes slow-cook for over 3hours to get the thick flavour..

    Very good food for growing-up kids.

    To all your visitors here, a happy MOTHER's day wishes from Katrina.. May God bless all the wonderful mothers of the world.


    1. thanks katrina, i am also deeply touched, when you posted teachers day- i just remembered your late father..such a nice man. May God bless him always.
      Happy mothers day to you.. you are a blessed mom.

  12. Delicious looking stews, both sound fantastic. Happy Mother's Day to you!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. hi ambreen and happy mothers day to you

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  14. Stews look good. Happy Mothers day to you.

    1. hi dear, happy mothers day to you ..thanks for your visit

  15. Yummy yum delicious flavors n lovely stew recipes!!
    Happy Mother's day to u too!!

    1. hi julie , thanks and happy mothers to you dear. have a nice day

  16. Wan, Indonesian semur looks like Japanese curry. Love the Irish stew too. Happy Mothers day to you.

    1. hi swathi, thanks for the comments and happy mothers day to you

  17. encantan los estofados a fuego lento son más sabrosos,buena técnica de cocción y agradables guisos...Feliz día de la madre,abrazos hugs,hugs.

    1. thanks rosita, hugs hugs, happy mothers day :)

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  19. Oh I did not know ada brown and white stew. Interesting info.

    1. hi diana, i also did not know, until i did this . have a nice day

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