This is another of my favourite Japanese home cooking dish. Nikujaga – tender beef with chunky onions and potatoes in a slightly sweet and salty broth. Thinly sliced beef is normally used but I used rolled sliced beef meant for shabu-shabu (hot pot) instead, which doesn’t require additional chopping. The beef cooks really fast so you simmer the dish just until the potatoes are soft to your liking. I had ran out of mirin so I added extra sugar and wine.
(Based on a Harumi Kurihara recipe)
1 lb thinly sliced beef, chopped into bite-size pieces.
2 large potatoes
2 large onions
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups dashi stock
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon sake or Japanese cooking wine
2 tablespoons mirin (or use another tablespoon each of the sugar and the wine)
1. Wash and peel the potatoes. Chop each into 6 – 8 large chunks. Soak the chunks in water for 5 minutes to remove excess starch then drain.
2. Cut each onion in 6 wedges.
3. Heat the oil in a large skillet and stir-fry the potatoes for a few minutes. Add the onions and beef and cook till the beef is no longer pink.
4. Add the dashi stock, sugar, mirin, soy sauce and sake to the skillet and bring to a boil before lowering the heat to a simmer. Skim the surface to remove any scum that floats up. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are cooked, 15 to 20 minutes.
5. Add extra soy sauce and sugar, if desired, before serving. Because this dish is salty, it goes well with steamed white rice.