This dish is delicious in the winter as comfort food, and a great way to make your children eat plenty of vegetables. The way we make meat sauce is similar to the way that westerners make bolognese sauce, but this version contains ketchup rather than red wine. It is a bit of a cheat’s recipe since I use canned meat sauce but I find that using mince alone does not give this dish the required depth in the time I wish to cook for. Preparation takes 5 minutes but the actual cooking time is long at around 1.5 hours, so this is one to cook ahead of time. The finished sauce can of course be frozen for later use in other dishes such as pasta. This is more of a recipe I learnt from my Japanese mother rather than a traditional Japanese dish, but trust me – it’s delicious!
Handful of Mushrooms
Can of good quality meat sauce
250g beef mince
Salt & Pepper
Finely dice any vegetables you like. For my dish I have used carrots, capsicums, mushrooms and onions. Fry together with the beef mince. There’s no need to use oil since the beef mince will release its own, tasty oil.
When the mince has been browned, move to a pot and add the canned meat sauce and simmer gently for one hour. Use hot water to fill the can half full and stir the water to try and remove as much of the sauce stuck to the can as possible. Then add a stock cube (vegetable, chicken, beef – anything really) to the hot water, dissolve and add to the mixture in the pot.
After one hour, add 100ml of ketchup (sounds a lot, but trust me here! You can always add a few squirts and check the flavour, but we’re looking for quite a strong end result so the flavour won’t be lost over the bland rice or pasta) and one table spoon of soy sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then simmer for another 15 minutes.
Line a dish with rice, then cover with the meat sauce, and finally some cheese. Then place in an oven preheated to 180 deg cel until the cheese is brown on top (approx 15 mins). Sprinkle with parsley flakes as desired and serve.