Beef and mushroom dashi stew

Beef and mushroom dashi stew

PT1H15M

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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!

1
To begin, make the mushroom dashi. Clean the dried shiitake with a very soft, dry brush to remove any grit or dirt
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2
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
3
Pass through a fine sieve and it's ready to use
4
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
5
Stir together the soy sauce, mirin, sugar and (if using) the shiitake powder in a bowl until incorporated
6
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
7
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
8
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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