Bruneian black pepper beef: Daging masak lada hiram

Hot on the heels of our East Timorese meal came a search for a traditional Bruneian meal. The only things we really knew about Brunei Darussalam were that it has a famously rich sultan, and it has its own airline and quite possibly the tiniest international airport in the world, discovered by Miranda during a stopover on a Royal Brunei flight in 2008: not the most entertaining four hours of her life.

Two other things we’ve learnt about Brunei over the past few days are:
1. Options for traditional meals are limited (it has only been an independent country since 1984, after all)
2. Recipes for those limited options don’t exist online in English

So planning Thursday night’s dinner was a bit of a game! Thanks to the wonders of Google Translate, though, we managed to splice together a few recipes for daging masak lada hiram, which translates to ‘black pepper beef cook’. This did involve coming up with our own creative interpretations for ingredients like ‘onion shredded holland’ or the preparation technique of ‘crop participate like’, as well as having to guess which recipe for black pepper sauce we should use, but we think we’ve come up with something passable. Whether it even slightly resembles the Bruneian version is unknown, but we present to you Black Pepper Beef Cook a la Mash…

Daging Masak Lada Hiram

350g frying steak (sirloin if you’re feeling flash)
1/4 each of red, green and yellow peppers, chopped
1/2 tsp black peppercorns, crushed
2 1/2 tbsp black pepper sauce (see below)
1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp ketjap manis
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
3 small cloves of garlic, crushed
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1 inch ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp sugar
Generous grind of salt
Cooking oil
Rice, to serve

For the black pepper sauce (will make more than you need):
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp crushed garlic
3/8 cup finely chopped shallots
1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp ketchup
1/4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/8 cup dark soy sauce
1/8 cup water
1/4 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sugar

1. For the black pepper sauce, fry the garlic in some oil until fragrant, then add the shallots and cook until transparent. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined. Cook for about 5 minutes until reduced.
2. Mix together your black pepper sauce, crushed peppercorns, oyster sauce, ketjap manis and turmeric, salt and sugar and add the meat. Marinate for 40 minutes (or until you lose patience and get hungry).
3. Heat the oil in a wok and fry the garlic, spring onions, onion and ginger until fragrant and softened. Add the meat and any remaining marinade. Cook until the meat is cooked and tender.
4. Add the peppers and cook for a minute or two, until the peppers have softened and the sauce is thick.
5. Serve with rice.

Black pepper sauce

Marinating beef

Black pepper beef cook ingredients

Cooking beef

Black pepper beef cook

Black pepper beef cook

We were actually divided on this one. Miranda enjoyed it, and thought the beef was particularly flavoursome thanks to the marinating process. Ash wasn’t that fussed with it at all, but did concede that that might have had something to do with the fact that he was fed up with it after spending so long peeling shallots and garlic. All in all, it’s unlikely we’ll make this one again, but the chutney-like black pepper sauce was an unexpected find and something we enjoyed a couple of days later with some bread and cheese!

A Filipino meal is on the menu for tonight… blog post to follow.


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