| Prep Time: 10 mins
| Cook Time: 55 mins
| Total Time: 1 hour 10 mins
You may need: Dried Garlic Powder
In Japan, curry with rice (karē raisu) is so popular, it is considered a national dish on par with Ramen and ahead of even sushi and miso (soup)! Unlike its East Indian cousin, Japanese beef curry is mild, slightly sweet, and a little savory making it enjoyable for kids and adults alike! Our recipe for Japanese beef curry delivers an authentic flavor in about the time it takes to make any homemade stew.
Curry is a relative newcomer to the Japanese menu. Curry originated in India and was likely brought to Japan in the mid-1800's by British Navy sailors, who were some of the first Westerners to step on Japanese soil after centuries of isolation. Over the proceeding decades, Japanese chefs adapted curry to local tastes making it mild, sweet, and so comforting. Boy, are we glad they did! Use our Japanese curry powder to deliver that comforting flavor using only natural spices. Also, try with chicken, fish, or just tofu/vegetables for a vegan version.
2 lbs of lean beef stew meat, cut into 2" cubes
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 yellow or white onions, thinly sliced
10 mushrooms, quartered (or whole if small)
1 potato, peeled and cut into 2" cubes
2 carrots, peeled and cut into rounds
1 inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 cups of low-salt beef broth
1 cup red wine
2 tbsp of tomato paste
1 tbsp of Piquant Post Japanese Curry blend
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste (optional)
The key to this dish is making a Roux (pronounced 'roo') which is typically just equal parts butter and flour. Roux is a French technique for thickening sauces and you've probably eaten roux in restaurant dishes hundreds of times (mac n cheese, stews, soups, eggs benedict), even though it may not have been obvious. Roux not only acts as a thickening agent, it can provide mild or deep flavor depending on how long you cook it. Our recipe makes a quick roux to act as both a thickener for the curry but also as a wonderful delivery vehicle for the toasted curry spices.
Making roux is not difficult but it requires a few minutes of attention. The one point to remember is not to burn the roux. Never use a high heat setting and you're better off turning down the heat a little and taking a few extra minutes to brown the roux to avoid burning it.
The Roux in our recipe becomes a little like dough since we don't immediately add broth or liquid to loosen it. Once you cook it, use a spatula to reserve all the roux in a separate bowl until ready to use in the curry stew.
Optional ingredients add a little character and flavor but don't sweat it if you don't have them.
Prepare all ingredients. Heat a large skillet on Med and add the oil and butter. When the butter begins to bubble, add the flour and whisk for 5 mins. Whisk in 1.5 tbsp curry powder for 1 min. Remove from heat and using a spatula, remove the roux "dough" to a bowl.
Heat the skillet on Med-High and add in oil & beef. Brown on all sides (~8 mins). Remove to a plate.
Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven on Med heat and add in butter. Once melted, add onions. Cook for ~10 mins or until onions soften. Stir in the ginger, garlic, and 1 tbsp curry powder and cook for 2 mins. Add in the red wine and tomato paste. Then, stir for 1 min to thoroughly dissolve the tomato paste. Add beef, potatoes, carrots, and mushrooms into the pot. Stir and cover. Finally, bring to a boil and reduce heat to Med-Low.
Cook curry stew for 20 mins, stirring occasionally. Fill a ladle with roux and dip into the broth to dissolve. Repeat until all roux is dissolved, adding Worcestershire sauce last, stirring to thoroughly mix. Serve in bowls over steamed white rice.
If you don't feel like making a full stew, you can use our Japanese Curry spice blend in any recipe calling for curry powder.
To make a vegan beefless stew, simply substitute in portobello mushrooms for the beef, avocado or coconut oil for the butter, and add more of your favorite veggies/legumes (chickpeas, butternut squash, eggplant, lentils). You can also make a homemade vegan Worcestershire sauce.
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