Ok folks, this is not your sweet confectionery kinda Smore, this is a STEW, a delightful Beef Stew called Eurasian Beef Smore, and not the Sri Lankan Beef Smore either! Like many Singaporean and Malaysian Eurasian recipes, it has its origins in Portuguese Malacca and like so many Eurasian dishes, this one has a European base with added “exotic” spices.
Eurasian, as its name implies, is a mix of European and Asian. Generally speaking, in Singapore and Malaysia, Eurasian food is a mix of Asian food with a strong Portuguese influence, although the term Eurasian was initially coined for Anglo Indians in the time of the British Raj in India. These days, with the countless intermarriages, the term encompasses all manner of Caucasian heritage. Here, in the UK, my kids are English, as my husband is English, but were they to live in Singapore, they’d be called Eurasians! Go figure!
The picture below shows you a hotel on the banks of Malacca River or Sungei Melaka in Malay. It’s architecture is very heavily Portuguese influenced, as is its name, Casa del Rio.
You’ll see a strong resemblance to many European beef stews, but the Eurasian Beef Smore is a much darker version because of the added soy sauces and of course, you can’t miss the julienned ginger. It’s cooked with carrots and potatoes and is eaten with a plate of hot steaming white rice although my favourite method is with liberally buttered crusty bread or some mashed potatoes.
The traditional method of making this is to crumble a scone or two (yes, really) at the end of the cooking, as a thickening agent. I omit this and go with the flour at the start method, another change I’ve made over the years is also to add more stew-friendly vegetables, namely leek and celery, stopping short of parsnip & swede as I think those will alter the final taste tremendously.
A word on the potatoes. You can vary the amount depending on what you plan to serve it with. Naturally, use less spuds if you’re having it with mash and the more potatoes you have, the thicker the end result. Here, I’ve specified 4 potatoes which will give each diner about 4 quarters.
Another thing to remember is to cut the vegetable and meat to about the same size, ie bite size. The leeks will naturally almost disappear but the rest should hold their shape.
Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients, it’s all about getting them together and then, it’s a walk in the park.
You might be interested in other Eurasian recipes found on the Singapore and Malaysia page.
You might also want to read up on Soy Sauces if you’re not sure of the different kinds.
Eurasian Beef Smore is a delicious thick and dark rich beef stew from Singapore.
- 500g stewing beef
- 1 large carrot, chopped into similar sized chunks as beef
- 1 celery, chopped as above
- 1 leek
- 2 tomatoes, halved
- 4 medium potatoes, quartered
- 2 large onions, quartered
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced widthwise
- 3"/7cm ginger, julienned (in strips)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 tsp sundried tomato paste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp plain flour (2 if you'd like a slightly thicker stew)
- 1 litre of light beef stock
- fresh coriander leaves, chopped, to serve
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp kicap manis (sweet soy sauce) or 1 tbsp dark with half tsp sugar
- dash of light soy sauce
- 2 tsp clear vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- generous amount of freshly ground black pepper
- Marinade the beef with all the ingredients for about an hour.
- After the marinating time, heat the oil in a casserole dish and sauté the onion, garlic, ginger, cinnamon & cloves on medium heat for a couple of minutes until softened but not brown.
- Add the beef, mix and brown for a couple of minutes.
- Add the flour & stir thoroughly.
- The rest of the vegetables, apart from the potatoes, go in now, stir thoroughly to coat with meat juices.
- Now, everything else goes in (still not the potatoes), stir and bring to boil.
- Cover and leave to simmer for about 1 and a half hours.
- Add the potatoes, bring to boil and cook until the potatoes are done, by which time, the beef will be done too.
- Taste for seasoning and scatter coriander leaves all over and serve with rice, bread or mashed potato.
The beef needs marinating for about 30-60 minutes.