Tuesday, November 11, 2008

beef and gobo with balsamic plum sauce

I sometimes end up watching "Oshaberi Kukkingu" (Chatting and Cooking) at 1 pm on weekdays as I've just put one son to bed for his nap and I'm immobile on the couch, feeding the other one. It's hard to wash dishes and fold clothes when you've got a nursing babe at the breast, so gosh darn, I have to suffer and watch a cooking show. It's only 15 minutes, which is perfect timing and about how long the Beansprout hangs on anyway, and even though I can't really write anything down as I watch, they've got it all online and you can look up the recipes by the date that the shows aired. The lady who hosts the show is really chatty (obviously) and has three chefs as guests who rotate each day. This meal was categorized as "Western" (maybe because of the olive oil?) and showed on Friday, November 7. For some reason I can't link directly to this recipe, but if you go to their official website, click on the calendar at the top, find November, and then click on the 7th, you'll have a list of ingredients and directions, all in Japanese. (Just kidding! I won't do that to you. No heart palpitations, please. Don't worry--I'll write it out for you here. Because I'm nice.) Anyway, even if this combo of ingredients sounds a bit bonkers, just try it anyway, and I think you'll be as amazed as we were at the symphony of flavors working together to create one beefy hunky masterpiece. The host of the show couldn't believe how tender the meat was, and she said she doesn't need to go to restaurants anymore, she'll just make this dish. I had everything on hand except for the gobo, so it was easy to pick up just that one thing at the store. And then...meal magic!

Gobo (aka burdock) is a root vegetable, and it's mmmm mmmm good...nice and crunchy...I guess if you don't have access to it you could substitute parsnips or turnips, maybe. (The fork is there to show you the size, not to suggest you need to just dive into this stuff when it's raw. As if.)

It's easy to peel...

And you soak it in water for a few minutes to subdue the powerfully earthy flavors.

The recipe called for 500 g (about 1 lb.) pork (I used beef) but I only had 280 g, so I added a peeled and chopped Japanese sweet potato (seen here in its embarrassing dirty pre-washed state).
You'll need:

  • 500 g (about a pound) of pork or beef chunks (or like me, half meat and half sweet potato)
  • 150 g gobo
  • 150 g dried plums aka prunes aka extra fiber (I used 15 plums)
  • 100 g onion (I used half a medium-sized one)
  • 1 T flour
  • 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 c. red wine
  • 2 c. beef bouillon (I used 2 cups water and 2 beef stock cubes)
  • 2 T chopped parsley
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
Do this (pronto!):
  • Cut the meat into 4 cm chunks and the gobo into 5 cm lengths, then soak the gobo in water for at least 4 minutes. Dice the onion.
  • Toss the meat into a big pot, salt and pepper it, and sear it with some olive oil.
  • Add a bit more oil and the onion and fry that all together.
  • Then add the flour, stir it in, and after that add the vinegar, wine, bouillon, gobo, and plums, and simmer it over medium heat for 40 to 50 minutes. I have gas burners so I had to turn mine down to the lowest setting.
  • Taste and add more salt and pepper if you need to, and the parsley. Serve it up! Hubby liked his best leftover and over rice for lunch today, but I enjoyed mine just as it was last night.
Whatever way you eat it (standing on your head, driving to the mall), it's GORGEOUS! Your taste buds will thank you...


Kim said...

Wow! Now that sounds like a gobo recipe I would like! I suppose one could use renkon (lotus root) for a smiliar crunch. what do you think?

Abigail (aka Mamatouille) said...

You're right, Kim! Renkon would be awesome in this--maybe I'll do it that way next time. I LOVE renkon!

Rachael Hutchings said...

Oh I miss that show! Sigh.

Abigail (aka Mamatouille) said...

FM- too bad we don't have a VCR anymore or I could tape some for you!