This rich, savory beef curry is inspired by the flavors of Japanese-style beef curry, typically made with little blocks of store-bought Japanese curry roux. Since the dish comes together so fast in an Instant Pot®, we use the time gained to make a homemade roux with basic pantry ingredients. (Garam masala isn’t traditional, of course, but Japanese curry has hints of the flavors in the spice blend.) Combined with Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, grated apple and beef broth, the result is a mildly sweet, spicy curry packed with extra umami. You can serve it over white rice or udon noodles. You can also make it without the beef and pour the sauce over Japanese-style breaded and fried pork or chicken cutlets (tonkatsu or chicken katsu, respectively).
Place the butter, flour, curry powder, onion powder, garlic powder, garam masala, turmeric, cayenne, white pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl and knead until combined. Set the curry roux aside.
Pat the beef dry and season all over with 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Add the oil to the Instant Pot® and set to high saute (see Cook’s Note). When the oil is hot, add the beef in two or three batches to avoid overcrowding and cook, undisturbed, until golden brown on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir once and cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer the beef to a large plate using a slotted spoon and repeat with the remaining beef, adding more oil if needed.
Add the onion and apple to the pot and cook, stirring often and scraping up the browned bits on the bottom with a wooden spoon, until soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and honey and stir to coat. Add the broth and stir to combine. Add the browned beef and any juices accumulated on the plate, Worcestershire sauce, potatoes, carrots and 1 teaspoon salt and stir to combine. Scatter dime-size pieces of the curry roux evenly over the top.
Follow the manufacturer’s guide for locking the lid and set to pressure cook on high saute for 20 minutes. After the pressure cycle is complete, follow the manufacturer’s guide for quick release and wait until the quick release cycle is complete. Unlock and remove the lid, being careful of any remaining steam.
Set the Instant Pot® to high saute and stir until the roux is melted and the curry looks smooth and creamy with no streaks of roux, about 1 minute. If the curry is too thick for your liking, stir in a 1/2 cup to 1 cup water. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. Serve with rice and fukujinzuke.
Settings may vary on your Instant Pot® depending on the model. Please refer to the manufacturer’s guide.
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