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Simmered Kabocha Squash in a Staub Cocotte

Simmered Kabocha Squash in a Staub Cocotte

This is classic simmered kabosha squash cooked in a Staub cocotte.
The kabocha squash is very dense and delicous, since cooking in a Staub cocotte requires less dashi stock and seasoning than usual.

Ingredients: 2 servings / [Pico round cocotte diameter 16 cm] was used

Kabocha squash
About 200 g (1/8 to 1/6 with fibrous strands and seeds removed)
Dashi soup (Japanese soup, or substitute with 2 pinches of granulated Dashi stock added to water)...A
40 ml
Sugar...A
2 teaspoons...10 ml
Mirin...A
1 teaspoon... 5ml
Sake...A
1 teaspoon... 5 ml
Soy sauce...A
1 teaspoon... 5 ml
Soy sauce...B
Scant teaspoon... 3-4 ml

Steps

1. Remove fibrous strands and seeds from pumpkin and cut into chunks of a 3-4 cm base (skin-side). Shave edges of the base to avoid the chunks breaking up during cooking.
2. Add the A ingredients into the Staub cocotte, then add the Step 1 ingredients with the skin sides facing down. Avoid layering the pieces. Simmer over medium heat.
3. How high the heat actually needs to be to amount to "medium heat" will depend on the size of your pot. For my round 16 cm cocotte, I turn the knob slightly right of the center on the gas hob for medium heat .
4. When the liquid in Step 2 starts bubbling lightly, close the lid and let it simmer like that for 30 seconds.
5. After 30 seconds, turn the knob to the far right to lower heat, and set a timer for 10 minutes.
6. After 10 minutes, take off the lid and pour in the soy sauce [B] from the edge of the cocotte. Close the lid and set the timer for 5 minutes.
7. After 5 minutes, turn off the heat. Keep the lid closed and just leave it like that for 30 minutes. The residual heat in the pot will slowly cook the contents through and allow the flavors to be absorbed.
8. After 30 minutes, it's done. Very little liquid is left in the cocotte, just enough for it not to burn.
9. Leaving the pot for 30 minutes in Step 7 makes the pumpkin so fluffy and dense, and yet also so moist and tasty, just as expected for Staub cooking.
10. Staub-cooked vegetables are really tasty! They have a flavor that appeals to many people. Please try it out!
11. Regarding the amount of pumpkin and seasonings, I often cook only half this amount and use a 10 cm round cocotte.
12. Exactly half the ingredients (A and B) is OK for this size. See my diary [2013/09.10] for details.
13. Tips: About 10 pieces of 3-4 cm cubed pumpkin roughly make up the amount in ingredients A and B above.
14. Attention! Always use a big enough pot to lay out the pumpkin pieces without overlapping.
15. This was cooked in 10 ml more dashi stock than called for in the ingredients list above (the rest of the ingredients are the same). It tastes more or less the same, but it is more moist.

Story Behind this Recipe

Since I fell in love with Staub cooking in Autumn 2012, I've been experimenting whenever I have spare time.
I'm going to upload recipes bit by bit from my pile of notes.
I'll be very happy if other Staub fans try my recipes.