Lemongrass Beef Bowl – Inspired by Vietnamese and Japanese cooking styles, our first recipe is bold on flavor, but so fresh and comforting as slow braised beef is combined with lots of fresh ginger, garlic, lemongrass and fresh herbs. If you have ever had Japanese Donburi, you know how wonderful different foods can be when composed and served on rice. In this dish, we use the Donburi approach, but incorporate Southeast Asian flavors of lemongrass, ginger and basil that leave you wanting more and more with each bite. I promise you will not only love this wonderfully flavorful dish, but wait until you see what you can do with the leftover meat and braising liquid. Our second recipe is almost better than the first!
- 2-3 lb chuck roast, excess fat trimmed and cut into 2-3 inch pieces
- 1 large onion roughly chopped
- 2 carrots peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 celery stalks roughly chopped
- 5 gloves of garlic roughly chopped
- 1 inch piece of fresh ginger peeled and grated on a zester
- 2 stalks of fresh lemongrass (bang the stalks with the side of your knife to release the oils and cut into 3 in pieces), or 2 tsps of lemongrass paste
- 1 bunch of fresh cilantro
- 2 green onions washed, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 tsp of sesame oil
- 1/2 cup of soy sauce
- 1 cup of water
- 1/4 cup mirin (Japanese cooking wine)
- 1/4 cup of sake
- 3/4 cup of pure cane sugar (really good with brown sugar as well)
Combine all of the ingredients in a hotel pan or other braising pan that can be sealed tightly with a lid or aluminum foil. Bring to a boil on the stove and then transfer to a preheated 325 degree (F) oven and cook for 3 hours. Check to ensure the meat is completely tender and shreds effortlessly with a fork.
Remove the meat pieces to a bowl and shred. Strain the liquid into a fat separator. Discard the solids and pour the liquid into a small saucepan and bring to a boil and reduce by 1/4 on medium heat (about 10-15 min). Spoon some of the liquid over the meat in the bowl and set the rest aside and keep warm.
Pickles and Toppings: (can be made while the beef is cooking)
- 2 carrots shredded into thin strips about 3 in long
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeds removed and sliced into 2 in long, 1/2 wide strips
- 1 red onion cut in half and thinly sliced
- Shimeiji Mushrooms
- (feel free to explore with other toppings like fresh fenel, beets, even apples)
- 2 cups Cherry Tomatoes sliced in half
- 1 mango, peeled and sliced into thin slices like the cucumber (mango does not get pickled, but is one of the toppings)
Place 2 cups of distilled vinegar and 1 1/2 cups of sugar and 1/2 tsp of kosher salt into a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Put each veggie into its own bowl and pour just enough of the hot pickling liquid to cover the veggies. Let sit for at least one and up to 4 hours before serving.
Put a single serving of rice in a large bowl and top with generous pieces of shredded beef. Spoon a couple of spoonfuls of the sauce over the meat and rice and then top with the pickled veggies, mango slices, tomatoes, fresh cilantro, scallions and serve.