Nikujaga is a Japanese simmered (nimono) dish invented in the late 19th century by chefs of the Japanese Imperial Navy. Popular during the colder winter months; it is considered a form of "comfort food" (ofukuro no aji) and consists of beef, potatoes and onion, stewed slowly in a dashi broth sweetened with mirin and soy sauce until the broth has nearly evaporated. Perfect for those "meat and potato" people who might be unwilling to try Japanese cuisine!
My recipe for nikujaga is compiled from numerous recipes; in traditional fashion, I still prefer to serve this dish in a Japanese donabe, a ceramic cooking vessel glazed on the outside but still porous on the inside. I also like to add konnyaku or shirataki noodles to absorb the delicious cooking broth. This meal needs no other sides other than perhaps a bowl of freshly steamed Japanese rice.
Nikujaga (Japanese Simmered Beef & Potato Stew)
1 lb thinly sliced beef loin
4 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled & quartered
1 onion, cut into wedges
4 medium carrots, cut into chunks
1 package konnyaku or shirataki noodles
2 1/2 cups dashi
2 Tbsp mirin
2 Tbsp sugar