Friday, January 02, 2015

Japanese Beef and Turnip Hot Pot

A deeply warming stew, equally at home with noodles, rice or mashed potatoes on the side, and one that reheats like a dream, gaining flavor over a couple of days, is just the ticket for winter kitchens. Start with approximately 1/2 - 3/4 lb. grass-fed and humanely raised, VERY thinly sliced beef. Sometimes these paper-thin shavings are sold in the market as "minute steaks." In a medium-size saucepan heat 1 T. vegetable oil over a high flame until hot. Add the beef and quickly sear on both sides until browned, about a minute in total cooking time. Immediately remove from the pan and set aside.

Now add 1 large red onion, thinly sliced, to the pot and lower the heat. Gently cook the onions for 5 minutes, until soft but not dark.

Add to the onions 1 cup of fresh shitake mushrooms, each cut into 4 pieces. When prepping the mushrooms simply wipe clean with a damp towel prior to chopping. Remove the stems which are tough and inedible but don't toss them out just yet. If you only have dried shitakes in the kitchen, soak them for 10 minutes first in boiling water before slicing and adding to the pot.

Peel and dice 1 large or two smaller white turnip(s). Toss them in the pot as well.

Before you return the beef to your pan as well, add in the shitake mushroom stems, 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock, 1/3 cup soy sauce or tamari, 1/2 cup sake (you can use dry sherry in a pinch) and 3 T. sugar. Bring to a boil and then quickly reduce to a simmer. Cook until the turnips are just tender. NOW toss in the reserved beef. Simmer for 5 minutes and serve hot.

Tying the shitake stems in a small bundle makes them easier to fish out before ladling up the hot pot.

Japanese Beef and Turnip Hot Pot with rice and braised bok choy.

Here's an idea: this warm, enriching stew is just as delicious made with broiled tofu instead of beef. Vegetarians should use of course veggie stock - or even water - in place of chicken broth. Find our instructions for broiling tofu HERE.

A few condiments: for the rice, dried and shredded purple shiso leaves from the Cafe Drake HRV gardens and for dipping the stewed beef and turnips, chili oil and a simple dressing of soy sauce and rice vinegar.

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