Made with beef, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, and curry roux, this savory and hearty Japanese beef curry makes a fabulous introduction for new curry eaters. Adapted to Japanese taste, it's milder, sweeter with a stew-like texture. Even children enjoy it thoroughly! You have to give this easy recipe a try.
Course: Main Course
Keyword: beef, curry
Servings: 10(the leftover freezes well!)
Author: Namiko Chen
3onions(2.5 lb, 1.1 kg)
3carrots(8 oz, 230 g)
1russet potato(9.5 oz, 270 g; use 2 Yukon gold potatoes if you want to keep the shape of the potatoes)
8mushrooms(9.2 oz, 260 g)
2lbboneless chuck roast(I recommend using chuck roast for better quality. You can use stew beef, as it's slightly cheaper, but it's made up of bits and pieces that were left over after the prettier chuck roasts had been carved so the meat is not as tender)
kosher/sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
freshly ground black pepper
2Tbspall-purpose flour (plain flour)
2Tbspextra-virgin olive oil
1knobginger(1", 2.5 cm; grated; about 1 tsp)
2Tbsptomato paste(or ketchup)
8cupsbeef stock(2 QT; beef stock is seasoned (salted); therefore, for less sodium intake, use 4 cups/1 L beef stock + 4 cups/900 ml water or use even more water. Remember that premade curry roux has salt in it.)
Cut the onion into thin slices. Cut the carrot diagonally while rotating it a quarter between cuts (we call this cutting technique “rangiri” in Japanese).
Cut the potato in half, and then cut each piece into quarters. Soak in water for 15 minutes to remove the starch.
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.
Cut the beef into 1 ½ inch (3.8 cm) cubes and lightly sprinkle salt and pepper. Then lightly coat the meat with flour.
To Cook the Curry
In a cast-iron skillet, heat 1 Tbsp oil and 1 Tbsp butter on medium-high heat. Add the beef in the pan but do not crowd the skillet as you would end up "steaming" the beef. Make sure to cook in 2-4 batches. Sear the beef on both sides until brown and crusty, about 8-10 minutes, then flip (don't touch till then). The meat will release itself when the surface is seared nicely. Transfer the seared meat to a plate and work on the next batch.
In a large heavy-bottomed pot or large pot, heat 1 Tbsp butter on medium heat and add the onion. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil and stir to coat the onion with the oil. Add ¼ tsp salt and sauté the onion until tender and translucent, about 20 minutes. If you have time, you can spend more time until the onions are caramelized, about 30-40 minutes.
Add garlic, ginger, curry powder, and tomato paste and sauté for 2 minutes.
Add the beef and the wine and stir, letting the alcohol evaporate, for 3 minutes.
Add the vegetable and mushrooms and pour the beef broth (and water) just enough to cover the ingredients. Cover with the lid and bring it to a boil.
Once boiling, skim off the scum and fat from the soup. I prepare a 2-cup measuring cup with water in it and clean my fine-mesh skimmer in the water. It’s easy to remove the scum/fat from the fine mesh this way.
Add bay leaf, cover with the tight-fitting lid. Simmer (on the lowest heat) until the meat is tender, about 2 hours.
Occasionally, skim the broth to clean the surface of the broth. Make sure the ingredients are under the broth, and if not, add the leftover beef broth (or water), just enough to cover the ingredients.
Once the ingredients are all tender, turn off the heat and add the curry roux. With fork/chopsticks, let 2-3 pieces of curry roux dissolved completely inside the ladle and then release to the broth. Then add another few pieces. Adjust the amount of the curry roux to your taste (you may not need to use all the roux). That way, the undissolved roux won't end up in the broth. If the curry is too thick for your taste, add water to dilute. From this point, simmer on the lowest heat and stir often and be careful not to burn the curry!
Add milk, Worcestershire sauce, and grated apple. Mix thoroughly and simmer till hot. If the curry is too soupy (probably you added too much broth/water), simmer, uncovered (no lid), stirring occasionally.
Serve the curry with Japanese steamed rice and top with fukujinzuke (pickles).
Remove the potatoes from the curry as they will change the texture once frozen. Freeze the leftover curry in an airtight glass container and freeze up to 1-2 months. Defrost 24 hours in the refrigerator and reheat in the pot.