Some Healthy Food Fun:    Dinner and a Movie
The Last Samurai

On the Menu:  Japanese Pot Roast
Video:   Scenes from "The Last Samurai"

"I think a man does what he can......until his destiny is revealed"   
--Tom Cruise


One of my boys back in Chicago, Vern, a true fan of the authentic Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa, would be so disappointed that I sold out to the "Hollywood Movie Machine" to review "The Last Samurai"

Vern would come up with valid points for sure, but my "Dinner and a Movie" collection is no more that those films I find myself watching over and over, for whatever reason.

For this movie, I suppose it was the "pageantry" of it all, the great costumes, and I suppose being a big fan of Ken Watanbe.

I'd probably have to concede all Vern's criticisms as totally valid, especially the one thing I hate in movies myself, that whole "American Guy" thrown into these foreign experiences, the whole movie is presented from his point of view, he gets the girl, all that crap......

Nonetheless, I like the flick, or I wouldn't be taking the time for this post.


Tom Cruise plays a soldier, fighting demons, and alcoholic, who takes a job training Japanese Government soldiers. However, after being taken prisoner by the Samurai, he finds himself switching sides.

I get to play that "American Guy" card in this post, since I'm not a true fan of authentic Japanese Cuisine. Japanese Pot Roast may not be authentic Japanese cuisine, but this recipe has an interesting mix of authentic Japanese spices, that can be found at any Asian store, perfect for an "American Guy" like me, thrown into a foreign "food prep" situation.....


Japanese Pot Roast


Japanese Pot Roast

** 4 lb. grass fed chuck roast, tied (I AVOID CONVENTIONAL BEEF)
** Pink Himalayan Salt
** Organic Coarse Ground Pepper
** 1/4 cup organic flour
** 6 Tbs. organic virgin olive oil
** 1 organic onion, cut into 8 pieces
** 6 organic cloves garlic, crushed
** 4 slices fresh organic ginger
** 3 cups beef stock from grass fed beef
** 1 cup organic mirin
** 1 cup naturally fermented soy sauce
** 2 star anise pods
** 1 lb. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and halved
** 1 lb. daikon, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
** 1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
** 1 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup chopped organic cilantro

Preheat oven to 300°F. Place roast in a large bowl, season well with salt and pepper, and dust with flour. Heat a dutch oven over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, and heat until shimmering. Add roast and sear until browned all over. Transfer to a plate. Add onion, garlic and ginger to Dutch oven and saute, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add stock, mirin, soy sauce and star anise and bring to a boil. Return roast to Dutch oven, cover and place in oven. Braise for 2 1/2 hours, turning meat after 1 1/4 hours.

Meanwhile, in a frying pan, heat 4 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms season well with salt and pepper, and saute until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

After roast has cooked for 2 1/2 hours, carefully transfer it to a plate. Leave oven on. Using a fine-mesh sieve lined with a cheesecloth, strain cooking liquid into a bowl. Discard solids and, using a spoon, skim off fat from surface of liquid. Return meat to Dutch oven and add sauteed mushrooms, daikon and strained cooking liquid. Mix cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water and add to Dutch oven. Place on stove top over high heat, bring to a boil, then return to oven to continue braising until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes more.

Transfer toast to a cutting board and remove strings. Cut into thick slices and arrange on a platter along with vegetables. Spoon cooking liquid on top, and serve at once, garnished with green onions and cilantro. Serves 8.


WARNING!!! Graphic battle footage below (by some standards)


When I think about it, I think I like this movie because I'm kinda a "Last Samurai" in my own way. I'm talking metaphorically, cause I ain't into the whole disembowelment thing. I don't do pain......

I have this piece of me within which is always true to what it is, no matter how much the world changes around me....and in a world of conformists, sometimes I truly feel like "the last".......

~stay healthy~



go to all entries in "Dinner and a Movie"

to comment about this page go here



You might also like in my "Dinner and a Movie" section (click on any DVD cover to enter)

"The 300"                                                 

On the Menu: Greek Tacos

American Gangster                    

On the Menu: Simple Oregano Lemon Chicken

Horatio Hornblower, action on the high seas

On the Menu: Midshipman's Beef Stew

Kingdom of Heaven, the never ending struggle

On the Menu: Leg of Lamb and Couscous with lemon

See our partners Partners.