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Tonights dish is a simple to prepare Japanese meal.

Nikujaga is a home-cooked dish, of meat potatoes and onion stew cooked in sweetened soy sauce. It is served with a bowl of rice and miso soup. It was invented by chefs of the Imperial Japanese Navyin the late 19th Century. The story that Tōgō Heihachirō ordered naval cooks to create a version of the beef stews served in the British Royal Navy was devised as part of an ongoing campaign beginning in 1895 to promote the city of Maizuru, Kyoto, as the birthplace of nikujaga.

The meat used in Japan for this dish varies from region to region. Beef is usually used in western Japan, while pork tends to be more popular in the east. You can use which ever meat you prefer but avoid meat that is too lean. When using lean meat, slice to a medium thickness or cut into cubes.

I have incorporated the miso soup into the main dish using it instead of dashi. Dashi forms the base of miso soup.

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g sirloin beef, cut into thin strips
  • 750ml of miso soup
  • 100ml Japanese soy sauce
  • 1½ tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 400g small new potatoes, cut in half
  • 1 onion, cut into 8 wedges and separated
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 15mm thick pieces

METHOD

  1. Add everything except the beef to the inner pot.
  2. Bring to the boil.
  3. Add the beef and bring back to the boil and skim off any scum that forms on the surface.
  4. Turn off the heat and put the inner pot, with its lid on, into the insulated outer container.
  5. Shut the lid and leave to thermal slow cook without power for 2-3 hours.
  6. Serve with rice cooked in the top pot if you have one. If you don’t have a top pot cook the rice separately.

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