I did the lengthy cooking of the base soup the day before, post here. Bring the soup back up to a boil and add the finishing touches. I don’t recall any potatoes or carrots in my Sop Buntut in Jakarta, but every single recipe I checked made it sound like potatoes and carrots were a normal ingredient, so I decided to include them. I cubed two large potatoes and about 5 carrots and sauteed them in a bit of butter until semi-cooked. These were then added to the simmering soup with some sliced leeks and cooked for a few minutes until done. At the last minute, I added some sliced fresh tomatoes and plated this up in large individual soup bowls. Sprinkle with some chopped kinchay or Chinese celery and this was dinner last night…
It seems the history of this soup goes back to the times when Indonesia was a colony of the Dutch… It was essentially a boiled beef soup, but the abundance of spices in the Indonesian setting added a wonderful twist to the flavor of the broth, and it was served with lots of sambal or chili paste, along with kecap manis and all the other side dishes common to Indonesian cuisine. This wasn’t exactly the soup I enjoyed so many times all those years ago, but it was pretty darned good. An 8.0/10.0 for sure. I think I would skip the browning of the beef step the next time around, to get a softer, silkier meat and a lighter colored broth. But the step of removing the coagulated fat is definitely a modern twist that is necessary in these fat-laden times… The one critical thing that I forgot to add was some deep fried sliced shallots, and that would have been a really nice flavor and textural component.
This was incredibly hearty, the broth flavorful and a touch mysterious to the unfamiliar palate. We had guests for dinner on Sunday night and they had spent several years in Malaysia and were familiar with similar soups, and let’s just say their bowls were cleared… :)