Ch 95 -- Beef Bowl and Beef stew
"Fer, why aren't you back yet?"
"Fer-ojichan, why aren't you here?" Sui added plaintively.
Sui and I were waiting for Fer to come back from hunting but there was no sign of him at all.
I didn't think he'd forgotten about us but I couldn't be sure. I expected he'd be back once he got hungry so instead of just waiting around I got started preparing dinner. What to cook though... well, there's lots of Bloody Horn Bull beef so maybe we want to eat some of that. Right, beef bowl it is. Quick to cook, delicious to eat and the pinnacle of cheap fast food in Japan. It brought back memories -- sometimes after I finished work I'd stop by a local store for a quick beef bowl. It's simple, sliced beef over plain rice with some sweet sauce.
I checked my stocks, I had onions, soy sauce, sweet cooking sake and ginger. I was short on regular cooking sake and instant dashi soup granules so I bought them from the Net Super.
Right, let's get started. First of all, I sliced up some Bloody Horn Bull beef. Since I planned to make two large pots of beef bowl I sliced up a lot of beef.
I peeled the onions and sliced them up then I put water in the pots and added the soy sauce, sugar, cooking sake and the dashi granules before squeezing out some grated ginger from a tube and stirring it in as the mixture came to a boil. I added the onions to the pots and after they softened I added the sliced beef. I let the sauce reduce over a slow heat for about ten minutes. It smelled really good, how did it taste? I tried a mouthful, the beef was tender and juicy and the onions fell apart in my mouth. Just right.
I made two pots of sliced beef at the same time as I knew how much Fer and Sui could eat. By the time I was finished though Fer hadn't come back yet. Sui had gone to sleep in her bag and I didn't want to start eating by myself so I decided to cook some more food while I waited.
Cooking the beef for the beef bowl got me into the mood for some beef stew. Most folks would just use a roux or sauce in jars to make beef stew but not me. It's more work but I prefer my own recipe for this, prepackaged sauces are not the same.
Stew does take a long time to cook but I had to wait for Fer to come back anyway. I used the Net Super again for more ingredients -- I had plenty of onions but no carrots or potatoes so I ordered some. I also added butter to the cart, I had run out of ketchup and consomme so they went on the list, oh and a can of demi-glace sauce and some red wine too. I paid for the order and the usual cardboard box appeared in front of me. I looked over the ingredients, did I have everything? Yep, it all looked OK so I got started.
First I cut up Bloody Horn Bull beef into bite-sized pieces then I peeled and diced the onions. I peeled the carrots and potatoes too before cutting them up into bite-sized pieces. I made the potatoes a little bit bigger though.
After melting some butter in the bottom of the pot, I browned the Bloody Horn Bull beef, seasoning it with salt and pepper. Once the cubes of meat were thoroughly sealed I added water and red wine to the pot and then the onions, potatoes and carrots. When the mixture started to simmer I added a cube of consomme.
I kept simmering, skimming the scum off the surface until the potatoes and carrots softened. When that happened I added a can of demiglace sauce and some ketchup to the stew then let it simmer for another 20 minutes. That's it, a familiar dish for me. I sometimes add butter at the end to make it a bit richer but not always.
By the way I use a can of demi-glace sauce rather than making a roux because it's easier. Weighing out the exact amounts of butter and flour to make a roux from scratch is a pain and it's too easy to burn it if you're not careful. Canned demi-glace works just the same and it still tastes delicious but it's a good idea to cook the meat well before adding it.
I sampled the stew, it tasted just the way I wanted it. It seemed I had managed to cook beef stew perfectly well in these conditions. I put the finished beef stew in my Item Box and looked around but Fer hadn't come back yet. Funny, I thought the smell would have attracted him...
"Hey Fer, how far have you gone?"