Japanese Beef Curry

S&B CurryCurry was introduced to Japan during the Meiji era (1868–1912) by the British, at a time when India was under their administration. The dish became popular and available for purchase in supermarkets and restaurants in the late 1960s. It has been adapted since its introduction to Japan, and is so widely consumed that it can be called a national dish.

Vermont Curry ready made curry roux is one of the most popular brands. Though, it is very good, it contains MSG. So here is a recipe from scratch.

curry mis en place

Rangiri cut carrots….
rangiri carrotsjapanese beef curryJapanese Beef Curry

1 lb beef, cut into bite-sized cubes
Salt and pepper for the beef
2 1/2 Tbs butter
1 onion, sliced as thin as possible
1 tsp ginger, finely grated
2 cloves garlic, finely grated
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into wedges, rangiri style
1 large apple, peeled and coarsely grated
5 cups beef stock
1 tsp salt
1 russet potato, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces

For the roux:
4 Tbs butter
7 Tbs flour
2 Tbs curry powder – Japanese S&B curry powder or Madras curry powder
2 Tbs garam masala

Season the beef with salt and pepper.

Melt the butter in a stockpot large enough to hold 5 quarts of liquid, over medium heat. Add the onions, ginger, garlic, carrots and beef. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes until the onions become translucent and the beef browned. Add the apple, beef stock and salt, and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile make the roux. In a skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and add the flour. Stir until the butter and flour are mixed. Don’t stop stirring, or the roux will burn! After about 20 minutes or so, the roux will become the “color of a fox,” as the say in Japan, a deep tan color. At this point, add the curry and garam masala, and cook and stir for 30 seconds, until the spices release their aroma. Turn off the heat. Add a ladleful or two of cooking liquid from the stock and mix into a paste.

Add the roux paste into the stockpot, and stir to combine. Add the potatoes. Simmer uncovered on low heat, stirring occasionally. Cook for about 1 hour, or until the beef becomes tender and the curry thick. Serve the curry with Japanese short grained rice on the side.


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