Making Nikujaga — Japanese Meat & Potato Stew

I have been totally braindead this week. The liver biopsy took a heckuva lot out of me more than I had ever anticipated and thusly my cooking has totally gone down the drain.

It’s been rather gorgeous the last few days, but it would seem that the weather is starting to change and it will get cooler over the weekend. As we all know, The Hubbs has some pretty specific notions on what a beef stew should be and I have a pretty intense dislike for potatoes. So why am I making a Japanese beef stew where the two main ingredients are beef & potatoes? I have no idea. Maybe it’s the Moose talking. I’ve taken a LOT of Moose this week and I’ve been completely unprepared for that.

I am rather impressed at how my stew is smelling. It smells… well… kind of like a very Japanese dish! It’s a pretty slap-dash, throw whatever you have on hand recipe that I think most everyone would have in their pantries. There are absolutely no weird ingredients in this dish and it’s a pretty damn quick meal to boot: 20-30 minutes, or however long it normally takes to cook potatoes & carrots until their soft & cooked through and have a pot of rice ready on standby. Rly? Ya. Rly.

So, recipe? Easy.

Nikujaga

Thinly sliced (like shabu shabu thin) meat of your choice — I sliced a semi-frozen beef steak as thinly as possible

1 onion, sliced into thin wedges

3 carrots, cut into rolling wedges

1/3 bag of baby potatoes, peeled and halved if large

veggie oil

1 1/2 – 2 cups dashi

mirin, generous sploshing up to a big ol’ glug or two

5 Tbsp soysauce (I used low sodium to use up what I had left in the pantry)

5 Tbsp brown sugar

In a large mug, mix dashi with soysauce and sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves and set aside.

In a medium, heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high heat.

Cook beef slices until mostly cooked, but not entirely.

Add onions, mixing with the beef until the onions look translucent

Add potatoes and onions, stirring well and searing a little longer.

Pour in your mirin and let the liquid cook off for a bit.

Add your dashi, soy & sugar mixture to the pot and stir everything until well combined.

Let the stew come up to a boil, then cover & turn heat down so everything can simmer gently.

Cook until potatoes & carrots are soft all the way through.

Serve with rice… or not… because I’m told that it’s extremely rude & sacrilege ^_^

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