500 g beef, preferably tenderloin
Ground spices :
70 g shallots
35 g garlic
15 g galangal
30 g lemongrass
20 g candlenut
15 g coriander
5 g white pepper
3 bay leaves
4 kaffir lime leaves
30 ml cooking oil, for sauteing
600 ml water
150 ml thick coconut milk
20 g tamarind paste, dissolved in 20 ml water
100 g brown sugar
5 g salt
8 g beef stock powder
200 ml water
600 ml cooking oil, for frying
Use cuts of meat that does not contain much fat, because during the cooking and frying of the empal, the fatty parts will shrink too much and become too chewy.
Puree the spice ingredients into a paste.
Add cooking oil into a pan and turn the heat to medium. Saute the paste with the bay leaves and kaffir lime leaves until the spices are cooked and fragrant, about 15 minutes.
After the spices are cooked, add the beef and stir to mix well with the spices.
Once the meat is half cooked and changes color, add water, coconut milk and seasoning. Stir to mix and reduce the heat.
Cook for about 30 minutes, until the spices are absorbed and the liquid is reduced.
Remove the meat and gently pound until it's flattened.
To make the empal, make sure that the spices are fully absorbed into the beef, and the liquid is reduced and thickened.
Prepare hot oil and fry with the spices until it is golden brown or very slightly charred, but not burnt.
Remove together with the bits of spices, and drain off excess oil.
Turn up the heat and wait until the oil is really hot before frying so that it cooks quickly. Do not over-fry.