Sunday, July 1, 2012

Ground pork curry ひき肉カレー

I mentioned that pork gyouza stuffing is very versatile and can be used as the base for other dishes. This is another example of that kind of versatility. Of course you could make this curry dish with just simple ground meat. In any case, I had some leftover gyouza stuffing (about 9 oz or about 250 grams) and decide to use it up before it went bad.

This may have been inspired by keema curry but this version is not at all authentic. Japanese have created many Japanese variations of curry beside the classic Japanese curry which in itself is a variation based on British modification of the classic indian curry. These Japanese variations include "dry"curry and a rather modern invention in my home town, Sapporo 札幌, Hokkaido 北海道 called "soup" curry. This curry I made is sort of cross between these latter two.

I included chunky potato and served this a closing dish or "shime" 〆 or ending dish. I made this curry a day before I served it.

Meat: Leftover gyouza stuffing (9 oz or 250 grams) made of ground pork mixed garlic chive, ground ginger and ground garlic.

Vegetable: I used onion (one medium, finely chopped), celery (2 stalks, finely chopped), carrot (2 medium, peeled, finely chopped), yellow squash (half with seeds removed and finely diced, optional, I happened to have it), garlic (1 clove, finely chopped), and ginger root (1/2 tsp finely chopped). I also peeled some small white potatoes (6-7).

I added light olive oil (2 tbs) in a pot on medium flame. When the oil was hot, I first sautéed the garlic and ginger and then onion and celery. I added curry powder (2 tsp or more, this time I used S&B brand Japanese curry powder) and kept sautéing. After the curry powder became fragrant, I added flour (2 tbs) and kept stirring until well incorporated. I moved the vegetables on one side of the pot and added tomato paste (2 tbs) in the empty area of the pan. I sautéed the tomato paste until the color slightly darkened and mixed thoroughly into the remaining ingredients. I added the remaining vegetables except for the potatoes. I added chicken broth (1 cup, my usual Swanson low-salt no fat version). Using a silicon spatula, I mixed and scraped off any "fond" that developed on the bottom of the pot. I also added Garam masala (1 tsp, this particular one had a strong cumin flavor) and more chicken broth (2 cups). I put in the potatoes and let it simmer for 40 minutes. I tasted and adjusted the seasoning using salt and black pepper. It was moderately spicy. We did not eat this immediately. I heated it up few days later and served over rice with sautéed asparagus and Japanese curry condiments (rakkyou ラッキョウ and fukushinzuke 福神漬け).

The addition of tomato paste made this curry sauce a bit unique. The sauce mellowed and it was only mildly spicy but had lots of flavors. The use of all the finely cut vegetables also gave it an undertone reminiscent of a french mirapois.  As an impromptu, leftover control cuisine, this was not bad at all.

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