Beef and mushroom dashi stew

Beef and mushroom dashi stew



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I have been using dried mushrooms in recipes for ages, as when the mushrooms I want to use are out of season or not readily available in the stores, they are a perfect replacement. However, I never thought that when using dried shiitake mushroom I was, in fact, making dashi.

Making mushroom dashi is easy, but you should only use dried shiitake mushrooms for the best results. The stock is achieved by just re-hydrating the dried fungus. This lovely recipe warms the soul, and despite having a few steps it's actually quite easy to make. Mushrooms are a very versatile fungus, and they are really good at absorbing other flavours. In this recipe, I used fresh Japanese mushrooms and the re-hydrated shiitake for the dashi. This mix of flavours, combined with the beef, gives the whole dish an earthy aroma and a lot of texture.

I used shiitake, enoki, shimeji, brown, white and oyster mushrooms for this recipe, but please feel free to use your favourite combination.

The use of a basic dashi to cook the rice gave it a deeper flavour and beautiful scent. Quite unique!

To begin, make the mushroom dashi. Clean the dried shiitake with a very soft, dry brush to remove any grit or dirt
In a large container with a lid, immerse the dried mushrooms and kombu in cold water and place it in the fridge. After 8 hours, remove the kombu and leave the mushrooms to soak for another 16 hours at 5°C in the fridge
Pass through a fine sieve and it's ready to use
Now make the stew. Add the coconut oil to a large saucepan and brown the beef over high heat, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes. Set aside
Stir together the soy sauce, mirin, sugar and (if using) the shiitake powder in a bowl until incorporated
Add the soy sauce mixture, leeks and 710ml of the mushroom dashi to the browned meat and cook over low heat for 40 minutes, until tender
Meanwhile, make the rice. Place the rice in a medium saucepan and add the water, along with 100ml of dashi. Cook over a low heat for 10-15 minutes, then rest for 10 minutes before serving
When ready to serve, add the mushrooms to the stew and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the watercress, turn off the heat and serve with the rice
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