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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Maui- Beef Luau a Local Fave

Beef Luau (stew) is a local Hawaiian style favorite, I'll seem redundant in my blogs, but it's all reinforcement, read any golf mag, or computer mag, or gossip mag, they're all repetative. Okay so when you are in the islands for the first time, you may notice some local digs serving up Luau Stew. Well what is it? There's different recipes by different chefs, but this dish is a dish that utilizes taro leaves, or luau leaves, you got to have that because well... you don't put crappy chocolate in your gramma's chocolate mousse recipe do you? Well, if you can't get the goods then you do need a substitute that can work.

Here's a simple recipe, and if you do live in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Southern Cal areas, there's a Hawaiian pipline that leads to these places, and there are some marts that sell taro leaves.

Here's the leaf what it looks like in the lo'i

Some of the ingredients you'll need is this, 4 lbs. of beef brisket, cut into cubes, season it with Hawaiian salt, rub it into the meat, let it sit at room temperature.

3 inches of ginger, chopped.
5 cloves of garlic smashed
32 fl oz. of low sodium beef broth

Heat up a pot with a little vegetable oil, saute the ginger and garlic for about a minute, then brown the meat really well. Add the beef broth, bring to a boil, then cover then lower heat to a simmer.
Meanwhile, in another pot, fill it with enough water to cook down about a pound of taro leaves, you may have to slice the leaves down the center and remove the rib and just keep the soft leaves, well the leaves are firm that is why you'll need to cook it down. Add about 1/2 cup of baking soda to the water, this will help to wilt the leaves. Bring the water to a boil, add the leaves and cook it down until it softens. Drain water, and squeeze out the leaves.

When the meat is tender (simmering for 1 1/2 to 2 hours), add in the taro leaves and cook for about 10 minutes, season with more salt if needed.

*This is just a simple recipe, other Hawaiian cooks make it differently even adding coconut milk to the stew, or other items, I have met a Samoan cook that made this similar stew but added bananas to it, and coconut meat. Oh well, food is like music.

Spinach is a great sub for taro leaves, and it wilts rather quickly, so there's no need for baking soda baths, just wilt the spinach in the stew when it's almost done.