スーパースター里芋が主役のどて焼き Superstar Taro with Beef Tendon

The other day, we received a bag full of taro root from a friend who grows their own fruits and vegetables. Usually, taro come in all shapes and sizes, but these are special: every single one is perfectly round and roughly the same size! When I mentioned this to my husband he explained that our friend must have gone out of their way to pick out only the most beautiful taro to give us as a present. 

I wanted to make something special using these taro, and since I had lots of free time to cook this morning, I decided to make a simmered dish using beef tendon, taro, carrots, burdock root and konjac jelly. It takes a LONG time to simmer beef tendon until it becomes tender, but besides the long cooking time, this dish is really easy to make. The seasonings are very simple; all you need is red miso, sugar and sake!

The first step is vegetable prep. When I peeled the taro root, it looked just like a pure white, sparkling jewel! After soaking the peeled taro in water for five minutes, I parboiled them for three minutes to reduce the sliminess a bit, then rinsed them with cold water. After cutting the carrots and burdock root into bite-sized pieces, I sliced the konjac with a spoon, and parboiled that for about a minute as well. 

The beef tendon also needs to be parboiled! I put the beef tendon in a pot with some water and turned on the heat. When the outer surface of the meat turned white, I strained the water and rinsed off the meat.

Next, I put the beef tendon, 10 grams of sliced ginger, 800 mL of water and 200 mL of sake into a clean pot and turned on the stove to high heat. After removing the scum from the surface, I added 100 grams of red miso paste, 4 tablespoons of sugar and all the vegetables to the pot.  Once it came to a boil, I turned the heat down to low, put on a drop lid, and let it simmer for an hour and a half. 

After an hour and a half, this is how it looked. Surprisingly, the taro root didn’t fall apart at all! These taro are truly amazing! I checked the flavor, and because I thought it was a little light on salt, I added another tablespoon of red miso paste. 

The cooking time was not finished however! I continued cooking it over low heat without the drop lid for another 30 minutes, spooning the broth over the meat and vegetables until the broth thickened and was reduced by about half. 

Finally, it was ready! The beef tendon was tender, and the taro root had absorbed all the flavors of the broth; I want to describe the taste, but the only word that comes to mind is “heartwarming”! 

As a side dish, I mixed lightly boiled Japanese mustard greens with sesame seed oil flavored with ginger, half a teaspoon of soy sauce, a pinch of salt and boiled whitebait (tiny baby sardines).  

It took all morning to cook, but after preparing the meat and vegetables, the rest was all hands free. To be honest, I did check on it quite often to make sure the taro didn’t fall apart with the long simmering time, but miraculously they kept their shape! Today’s lunch wouldn’t have been possible without the superstar taro we received as a gift from a friend. (If you want to make this dish, but don’t have any indestructible taro on hand, I recommend daikon radish as a good substitute!) 


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