Sunday, December 06, 2009

Nikujaga - Beef and Potatoes Stew

Last night I decided to make Nikujaga, a classic comfort Japanese stew of beef and potatoes. Using sukiyaki beef that I had in the freezer, I followed a recipe I found on, a great source for Japanese home cooking. The potatoes came out sweet and golden from having absorbed the sweet sauce it was braised in and the thinly sliced sukiyaki beef practically melted into the stew along with the carmelized onions.
I ate it with white rice, with the fork tender potatoes falling apart easily and the delicious sauce being poured all over the rice. It tasted even better when I ate it today.
900 g / 2 lbs of potatoes. Use boiling potatoes for a firmer texture, and baking potatoes if you want it rather crumbly and mushy.
200g / 6 oz thinly slice beef or pork. "Minute steak" is fine, or just cut up a thin cutlet.
1 medium onion
A small piece of fresh ginger
about 4-5 cups of
dashi soup stock (I used beef stock instead)
6 Tbs sugar
3 Tbs sake, or sweet sherry (I didn't have any sake so I used rice wine instead)
3 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs mirin (or just add another Tbs. of sake or the rice wine and a bit more sugar)
vegetable oil
1 tsp dark sesame oil
Some chopped green onions for garnish
Peel and cut up the potatoes.
Roughly chop up the meat.
Slice the onion.
Chop the ginger finely.
Sauté the onion and ginger in some oil. Add the meat and sauté till browned.
Add the potatoes and sauté briefly.
Add enough dashi stock to cover.
Add the sugar, sake, mirin and soy sauce. Add the sesame oil.
Bring to a boil, then put a pot lid that's smaller than the pot you're using directly on top of the potatoes.
Simmer over medium-low heat, until the liquid is much reduced and the potatoes are tender, and infused with a sort of golden color.
Sprinkle with the green onions and toss around in the pan.
Serve immedately.

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