This month’s recipe delivers a leftovers transformation that might be even better than the first night!
Savory Beef & Vegetable Simmer
Makes 4 servings (or two servings the first night, and two the second)
4 potatoes, peeled
2 carrots, peeled
2 onions, peeled
12 oz. (340g) flavorful beef (I use ribeye)
2.5 c. (600ml) dashi (Japanese soup stock, which can be made with water and 2 t. instant Hon Dashi* granules)
2 T. (25g) sugar
2 T. (30ml) mirin (sweet rice wine)
4 T. (60ml) sake
5 T. (75ml) soy sauce
1 box Japanese hot or medium-hot curry roux mix (see below)
8 mushrooms, stems removed, sliced (add with other vegetables)
1 Japanese eggplant, sliced and browned in oil (add this to the curry at the end)
Cut carrots into chunks, slicing on the diagonal and rolling carrot a quarter turn before each slice. Set aside.
Cut potatoes into bite-sized chunks. Set aside. Peel onions, cut in half, then into thick chunks.
Heat oil in a large soup pot and sauté onions until soft and beginning to brown. Set aside.
Slice beef as thin as you can.
Heat a little more oil in the soup pot and sauté beef until browned. Add vegetables to beef and combine, then pour in hot dashi broth. Bring to a boil. Add sugar, mirin and sake, then simmer, covered, for five minutes. Add the soy sauce. Cover and simmer for ten more minutes, until vegetables are cooked.
And ta-daaa! Your first night’s dinner is ready to eat. Japanese grandmothers serve it in a bowl, with rice on the side.
Now, on to the…
To make your Savory Beef & Vegetables into curry rice, you’ll need a box of Japanese instant curry. It comes in various degrees of spiciness: sweet, medium hot or hot. (For reference, those are much milder than the Indian or Thai scales of spiciness.)
Heat your niku-jaga leftovers to boiling, then open up the curry roux packet and break the roux into blocks.
Fill a soup ladle with broth, drop a block of roux into it, and (with your other hand) stir the bowl of the ladle with a small whisk (or chopsticks) until the curry block dissolves in the broth.
Give the entire pot a stir, and do it again, whisking the curry blocks into the broth one by one, until the sauce is thick and rich, like gravy. (You probably won’t use the whole box of curry roux.)
Serve over rice.
*You can buy instant Hon-Dashi at Asian markets or online
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