Eurasian Beef Smore is a delicious, hearty beef stew with Asian and European flavours. It’s one of my favourite childhood recipes!
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
What is a Eurasian?
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.
You can read more about the various ethnic groups that make up the local populations of Singapore and Malaysia on my new blog: Singaporean and Malaysian Recipes.
Eurasian Beef Stew
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.
On a slight tangent, the picture below shows you a hotel on the banks of Malacca River or Sungei Melaka in Malay. Its architecture is very heavily Portuguese influenced, as is its name, Casa del Rio.
Scones in Eurasian Beef Smore
The traditional method of making the Eurasian Beef Smore 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 European style stew-friendly vegetables, namely leek and celery, stopping short of parsnip and swede, as those will alter the final taste tremendously. And we don’t want that!
Another thing that I’ve also done is to use sundried tomato paste instead of straight up tomato purée. Sundried tomato paste lends amazing depth to any recipe you use it in, and is a favourite and quite often, secret ingredient of mine.
Potatoes in Eurasian Beef Smore
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.
Click here to read up on Soy Sauces if you’re not sure of the different kinds.
More Singaporean and Malaysian Recipes
You’ll find a growing range of recipes from these two countries on my new blog. Singaporean and Malaysian Recipes is, as its name suggests, going to be all about the food of mu childhood. It’ll also include the odd Indonesian recipe. All the recipes below are on that site:
Eurasian Beef Smore
- 500 g stewing beef diced to about 2.5cm/1 inch cubes
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 2 large onions quartered
- 4 cloves garlic sliced widthwise
- 7.5 cm ginger julienned (in strips)
- 1 large carrot chopped into similar sized chunks as the beef
- 1 celery chopped as above
- 1 leek also chopped to roughly the same size
- 2 tomatoes halved
- 4 medium potatoes quartered
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 tsp sundried tomato paste
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp plain flour 2 if you’d like a slightly thicker stew
- 500 ml beef stock
- 500 ml water
- fresh coriander leaves cilantro, chopped, to serve
- 1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp kicap manis sweet soy sauce or 1 tbsp dark with ¼ 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.
- Then, heat the oil in a casserole dish or large saucepan on medium heat, and fry the cinnamon stick and cloves for 30 seconds.
- Add the onion, garlic and ginger and fry for a couple of minutes until softened but not brown.
- Add the beef, stir to mix and brown for a couple of minutes.
- Add the flour and stir thoroughly.
- Tip in the rest of the vegetables, apart from the potatoes. So carrot, celery, leek and tomatoes. Stir thoroughly to coat with meat juices. If you like your vegetables like carrots, leeks and celery less cooked, add them with the potatoes, step 8.
- Now add the stock, sundried tomato paste and black peppercorns. 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, about 30 minutes, by which time, the beef will be done too. Remember, if you like your vegetables like carrots, leeks and celery less cooked, add them with the potatoes.
- Taste for seasoning and scatter coriander leaves all over and serve with rice, bread or mashed potato.