I am a big fan of Morimoto, and not just his penmanship:
No, I love his creativity. While his cookbook seems complicated, if you dig deep, you’ll find the recipes are fairly simple with complicated flavors.
This is my simplified version of ‘Hayashi Stew’ from Morimoto’s New Art of Japanese Cooking. It’s like a simple boeuf bourguignon – all meat, all flavor.
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced
4 Tablespoons butter
1-1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 cup red wine
3 Tablespoon ketchup
3 cups beef broth
1 cup water
1/4 cup all purpose flour
In a large pot, heat the oil and add the onion and saute. Stir until the onion is a lovely brown. Remove the onions and set aside.
In the same pot, melet TWO Tablespoons of the butter. Add the meat and the garlic, turning to brown. Again – set aside. (This is the last time you’ll have to aside, I promise.)
Pour the red wine into the pot and bring to a boil, scraping up the meat bits on the bottom.
Add the ketchup, then return the onions and beef back into the pot.
In Morimoto’s recipe he calls for a very elaborate Shanton Broth to be used, but here in down-to-earth-land, I don’t have time to be boiling down four different kinds of meat for FOUR hours. While I KNOW his tastes better because of his broth…no. The new season of Oprah has started and so I am just going to suggest you do as I do and just use a simple beef broth here.
To the meat and onions add the beef broth (~wink) and the water and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1-1/2 hours.
In a small saucepan melt the remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter over medium heat and whisk in the flour. Cook – stirring for about 3 minutes. Ladle in about 2 cups of the stew broth INTO the saucepan to temper the flour mixture – boil while whisking until thick and smooth. Stir the thickened liquid back into the stew.
Cover and simmer for another 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with white rice.
This stew is quite simple with very minimal ingredients. Not a veggie in sight. It’s warm, hearty and has the loveliest of flavors. Again I’m sure a heftier base broth would be better, but this is pretty darn good as simplified.