Why is it that we are halfway through the month of March and I’m still craving hearty meat stews? Maybe it’s the 40 degree temperatures outside and the fact that we never really got a winter at all here in Brooklyn this year – just a few really cold days, one measurable snowfall, and a smattering of spring-like days that only make us want spring to arrive. If I’m craving stew, then I need to make my favorite Japanese beef one-pot meal. Made with Dashi and Sake instead of meat stock and wine, it is light and sweet but still satisfies my winter stew craving.
8 Dried Shiitake Mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 1 hour
2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled
1 pound of beef tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large sweet potato, peeled, cut into large cubes
1 cup green beans cut into 2-inch pieces
4 cups dashi
1 cup sake
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. Mirin
1/4 cup soy sauce
Cut the mushrooms into bite size pieces. Cut the ginger into the finest julienne possible, then soak in cold water for 15 minutes. Drain the ginger. Cook the sweet potato in boiling water until just done, then rinse in cold water to stop the cooking.
Heat 2 Tablespoons of oil in a large, heavy pot on high heat. Add the beef, stir and cook until browned. Add the mushrooms, ginger, cooked sweet potato, dashi, and sake. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add sugar, mirin and soy sauce, and simmer for 10 additional minutes. Finally, add the chopped green beans. Serve with rice.