Waterless Nikujaga (Simmered Meat and Potatoes) in a Staub Cocotte
This is a nikujaga made in a Staub cocotte that doesn't require any additional water or dashi. The moisture from the seasonings and the vegetables are just enough to make this a hot and flavorful nikujaga.
Ingredients: 2 servings' worth (using a 16-18 cm diameter cocotte)
"A" Thinly sliced beef (cut into bite-sized pieces)
100 g (roughly)
"A" Potatoes (cut into 3-4 cm chunks)
3 (6-7 cm long potatoes)
"A" Onions (thinly sliced into about 1.5 cm slices)
1 large (you need the moisture from the onions, so be sure to use a large one)
1.5 tablespoons (20-25 ml)
2 teaspoons (10 ml)
1 tablespoon (15 ml)
"B" Soy sauce
1 tablespoon (15 ml)
"B" Dashi stock granules
"C" Soy sauce
1 teaspoon (5 ml)
Vegetable oil (or beef fallow)
Cut up the "A" ingredients. The size of the potatoes and carrots will affect the cooking time, so be sure to cut as instructed in the ingredients list.
Heat a little oil (or beef fallow) in a Staub cocotte over medium head. Then, add the thinly sliced beef and cook until brown.
Once browned, add the onions and potatoes from Step 1 and cook together.
When the onions and potatoes are thoroughly coated in the oil, add the "B" seasonings and mix well.
Once the seasonings have evenly coated the ingredients, cover with the lid and simmer for about 30 seconds over medium heat.
After 30 seconds, reduce the heat to low. Then, set a timer for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, open the lid and add the "C" soy sauce and mix well. Replace the lid and set the timer for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, turn off the heat. Let sit with the lid on for 30 minutes to 1 hour to let it cool, allowing the flavors seep in.
After at least 30 minutes, mix lightly without crushing the potatoes. *You can do this with a small wooden spoon, if you like.
And now your super-delicious nikujaga is ready. The potatoes are so nice and fluffy, using only the moisture from the seasonings and vegetables.
By allowing it to cool first, the flavors will really sink in and become delicious. Heat it up again just before serving.
[Guideline for the ingredient amounts:] When you put all the ingredients into the cocotte (16 cm diameter), they should fill up about 80-85% of the cocotte, and the amounts of the listed seasoning ingredients should be just right.
One of our family members dislikes carrots, so we don't add carrots. If you add carrots, replace a portion of the potatoes with the carrots.
After trying some variations, I found out that if you use less ingredients (for example, about half), then it will turn out like sukiyaki.
Adjust the amount of ingredients according to the size of your cocotte.
[Note:] Since this recipe doesn't use any water, the amount of onions is very important for their moisture content.
Don't reduce the amount of onions in favor of adding more potatoes and/or carrots.
If you add vegetables with a high moisture content, there will be more liquid, so the outcome of the taste and fluffiness of the potatoes will be different.
If you use vegetables with a high moisture content, reduce the amount of onions or let the moisture evaporate a bit with the lid open before turning off the heat in Step 8.
Story Behind this Recipe
I was going to make my regular nikujaga Recipe ID: 1776867, but I experimented and came up with this version of a water-less nikujaga in a Staub cocotte. By thinking about which vegetables have a lot of moisture, I was able to come up with something really satisfying.
*To be sure there's enough moisture, refer to the tips in Steps 12-17. The taste and texture will vary depending on many variables.