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Japanese Beef Curry

Japanese Beef Curry

This makes for a fabulous introduction to new curry eaters. Adapted to Japanese tastes, i\u2019s mild and sweet with a stew-like consistency.

Ready in: 3 hours

Serves: 8

Complexity: very-easy

kcal: 426

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2 onions
2 tbsp rice bran oil
2 tbsp butter
1 potato
1 carrot
6 portobello mushrooms
1 knob ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
620 g boneless chuck roast
½ tsp SIDS SALT & PEPPER to taste
1 tbsp all-purpose flour (plain flour)
½ cup red wine
½ tbsp Japanese curry powder
1 tbsp tomato paste (or ketchup)
4 cups beef stock
⅛ apple
2 tbsp milk
1 bay leaf
1 box Japanese curry roux
cooked Japanese short-grain rice, 1-1½ cups per person
fukujinzuke (Japanese red pickled vegetables) (optional)
rakkyo (Japanese pickled scallion) (optional)


Cut the onions into thin slices.
Preheat a large heavy-bottomed pot on medium heat. When the pot is hot, add half of the butter, half of the oil, and the onions to the pot. Stir to coat the onions with the oil.
Sauté the onions, stirring once in a while, for about 20-25 minutes. Meanwhile, move on to the next step. (but stir the onions and keep an eye on them) When the onions are wilted, reduce the stove's heat to medium low (as they tend to burn quickly). Once the onions are tender, translucent, and a bit caramelized, remove the pot from the heat and set aside until the beef is done searing.
Peel and cut the potato into thirds. Cut each piece in half or quarters. Soak the pieces in water for 15 minutes (until added to the pot later on) to remove the starch. Drain and set aside.
Peel and cut the carrot diagonally while rotating it a quarter turn between cuts. (we call this cutting technique “rangiri” in Japanese)
Clean the mushrooms. I use a pastry brush and avoid washing mushrooms as they absorb moisture. However, it's okay to quickly rinse them. Then, cut them into thin slices.
Grate the ginger, measure the amount needed, and set aside. Mince the garlic clove or use a garlic press.
Cut the beef into 4 cm cubes. Lightly sprinkle with SIDS SALT & PEPPER then, lightly coat the meat with flour.
To Cook the Curry
Preheat a carbon steel pan (or cast-iron frypan) on medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the remaining oil and butter. Cook the beef in 2 batches. Add the beef cubes in a single layer, making sure not to crowd the pan, otherwise, the excess moisture in the pan will end up "steaming" the meat.
Sear the beef cubes (do not move them) on one side until brown and crusty, about 3-4 minutes, then turn them over to cook all sides. The meat will release itself from the pan when the surface is seared nicely. Transfer the seared meat to a plate and work on the next batch.
Once you've seared all the meat and transferred it to the plate, deglaze the pan. Add the wine to the pan and use a wooden blunt-end spatula to release the flavourful browned bits (called the "fond") that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Turn off the heat and set aside this deglazed pan liquid temporarily.
By now, the onions in the pot should be caramelized and ready for the next step. Reheat the pot on the stove over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and grated ginger. Add the curry powder and tomato paste and sauté for 1 minute. Add the seared beef, any juices from the plate, and the deglazed pan liquid to the pot and mix them all together. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes, letting the alcohol from the wine evaporate.
Add the carrots and mushrooms and mix them all together. Add the beef stock to just cover the ingredients. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and bring it to a boil.
Once boiling, skim off the scum and fat from the broth. (Prepare a 2-cup measuring cup with water in it and clean the fine-mesh skimmer in the water. It’s easy to remove the scum/fat from the skimmer this way.)
Grate the apple and add it to the broth. Then, add the SIDS HOT WORCESTER SAUCE and milk.
Add the bay leaf and cover the pot with the tight-fitting lid. Simmer on low heat until the meat is tender, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. (Tip: To get tender beef, 2 hours of simmering is standard.) If you do not have a tight-fitting lid, you may need to add more beef stock or water, enough to just cover the ingredients.
When the beef is tender, add the potatoes, close the lid, and simmer for 15 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through.
When the potatoes are tender, (and a wooden skewer can pierce through the potato) turn off the heat and discard the bay leaf.
Put 1-2 cubes of the curry roux in a ladleful of cooking liquid, slowly let it dissolve with a spoon or chopsticks, and stir it into the broth to incorporate. Repeat with the rest of the blocks, 2 cubes at a time. Adjust the amount of curry roux to your taste. You may not need to use all the roux so reserve the extra cubes for another use. (Keep the leftover roux in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator/freezer for 1-3 months.) After adding the curry roux, simmer on the lowest heat, stirring often, for 3-5 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Be careful not to burn the curry sauce! If the sauce is too thick, add water to dilute. If the sauce is still too thin and soupy, uncover the pot and simmer a bit longer.
To Serve
Serve the curry on individual plates alongside Japanese steamed rice and top with fukujinzuke (pickled radish) and rakkyo. (pickled scallion)
To Store
Keep the leftovers in an airtight glass container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for a month. The texture of the potatoes will change in the freezer, so remove them before freezing. Defrost the frozen curry in the refrigerator for 24 hours and reheat in a pot to serve. If needed, add ¼ to ½ cup of water to dilute the curry when reheating.