Although nutmeg is native to Indonesia, it is not often used in cooking, except in beef, oxtail, or oxtongue soups or stews such as this semur lidah. Added by potato cubes into semur lidah, you can tell this dish was influenced by the Dutch.
Seeing a pack of fresh veal tongue at a halal store on Maryland street, made me happy. I finally could make semur lidah. This store supplies fresh meat (goat, lamb, beef, veal) every Thursday, I’m not too sure when the halal fresh chicken is coming to the store, but the store does have the frozen ones.
In the recipe, I supposed to use oxtongue, but I was curious how the veal tongue tasted. I browsed semur lidah recipe on internet and I chose to adapt Astri’s recipe of Keluarga Nugraha. The semur lidah turned really great, the same tasted as what I recalled when I was in my family’s house. Thanks, Astri! I just had to adjust a small numbers of some ingredients. Few recipes call for cinnamon, but I didn’t add any as I prefer had a combination cloves and nutmeg fragrant.
To eliminate my guilty feeling, I had this semur lidah with steamed brown rice, not white rice
Recipe by Astri Nugraha, Adapted and translated by me
2 L (8 cups) water
600 g (1 ¼ lb) ox tongue (I used veal tongue), washed well
3 ea Indonesian bay leaves (salam leaves)
3 tbsp butter/margarine
1 tbsp olive oil
6 shallots, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 whole nutmeg, cracked or 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
7 ea cloves
5 cherry tomatoes (tomat sambal), halved
500 mL (2 cup) homemade beef stock
1/4 cup Indonesian sweet soy sauce (I use kecap manis sedang/medium sweet)
1 mushroom soy sauce
2 medium size potatoes , peeled and 2 cm cubed
1 large carrot, peeled and cut as desired
ground white pepper to taste
fried shallots and other green stuff to garnish
1. In a heavy stockpot, bring to a boil water, veal tongue and salam leaves, reduce heat and simmer for approximately 1.5 -2 hours or until tongue is cooked and very tender. Ox-tongue will take a longer time to cook. If you use a pressure cooker, this process will be faster, around 20 minutes.
2. Plunge veal tongue into ice water and cool for 5 minutes. Peel skin off with a sharp knife. Slice veal tongue into 1 cm thick.
3. In a skillet/wok, combine butter and oilive oil, stir fry shallot, garlic, cloves, and nutmeg for 1 minute at medium-high temperature.
4. Add veal tongue slices, stir for 30 second.
5. Add beef stock/water, kecap manis, and mushroom soy sauce, stir.
6. Bring to boil, add potato and tomatoes reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
7. Add carrot and season with ground white pepper as desired; continue to simmer until all is cooked.
8. Garnish with fried shallots or green onion.
Note: if you like salty taste, add salt as desired. In this case, I didn’t add any, since mushroom soy sauce was pretty thick