Usher in the holiday season with a huge mound of “rice cooker roast beef” using our all-too-easy recipe.

With the end of the year approaching, family gatherings are on the horizon. For some, this means a lot of cooking needs to be done. To help alleviate some of this burden we have found an incredibly easy way to cook a huge portion of roast beef using an essential tool of Japanese cooking.

Some of you may remember our rice cooker roast beef from last year. We took a 500 gram (1.1-pound) chunk of round and made an elegant order of juicy roast beef like so.

While that might work for an intimate evening alone or with a friend, we thought this year we would go big – American style!

So, P.K. Sanjun went over to the most American place in Japan, Costco, and bought a big ol’ hunk of US beef weighing in at 2,361 grams (5.2 pounds). That ought to be enough to feed hungry relatives or – failing that – an office full of gluttonous reporters.

P.K. more or less followed the same recipe we presented before, only with a few minor alterations.

■ As much beef as you can cram into a rice cooker
■ Garlic
■ Salt and Pepper
■ Bay leaf
■ Salad oil
■ One ziplock baggie

1. Cut the meat enough so that it can fit into the rice cooker. Don’t cut too much because you want to preserve the juices. Then sprinkle salt and pepper all over the meat and rub it in with your hands.

2. Put the oil into a pan and simmer the garlic and bay leaf on low heat until aromatic.

3. Remove the garlic and bay leaf and put it into the baggie. Then broil the meat on the pan using high heat.

4. Put the meat into the baggie and remove as much air as you can. You can use a straw to suck out the air pockets, but be careful not to suck up a mouthful of undercooked beef juice.

5. With everything inside, put the sealed baggie into the rice cooker. Add boiling water until the pot is about 70 percent full.

6. Close the rice cooker and set it to “heat retention.” Rice cooker buttons can be a little arcane but it’s the one that looks like this: 保温. After that, just wait two hours.

▼ Even the rice cooker seems surprised at what it’s doing.

7. Open it up and cut into whatever servings you’d like. That’s it!

As you can see, a good chunk of the preparation was just in the seasoning, which you can feel free to adjust for your own tastes. Overall, it doesn’t get more simple than that to cook a big load of roast beef, especially in Japan where ovens aren’t nearly as prevalent as they are in other, more spacious countries.

Also, since the rice cooker is on a lower setting, you don’t have to worry about burning it. That being said, not all cookers are made the same, so you might find your beef a little too rare, even after two hours.

If that happens, all you have to do is pop it back in for some finishing touches of heat. Piece of meaty cake!

P.K. sat back, gnawing on his tender roast beef in awe that meat so nice could come out of a rice cooker. It was all so easy, fairly cheap, and incredibly hearty too. Yes, this meal was as American as apple pie…

“Apple pie?” thought P.K. as he glanced at the rice cooker out of the corner of his eye and began stroking his chin in sudden inspiration.

Original report by P.K. Sanjun
Photos and video: RocketNews24
[ Read in Japanese ]