First, let's prepare the ingredients. The button mushrooms will shrink when cooked so slice them thickly.
Next, freeze the packaged firm tofu and then thaw it at room temperature. This will give the tofu a spongy and chewy texture, which helps to imitate a meat-like texture.
Thoroughly squeeze out the water from the tofu. Remove the moisture with a paper towel.
Then, break the tofu into small pieces with your hands.
As for the vegetables, cut the onion, carrot and celery into 5mm (0.2") pieces. And chop the garlic clove into fine pieces.
Now, let's prepare the meat. Season the lean ground beef with salt and pepper.
Heat a pan on high heat and coat it with olive oil. Add the beef and distribute it. Avoid stirring the meat otherwise the juices will come out and they will keep the surface from browning.
When the bottom becomes golden brown, flip it over.
Browning the meat will reduce any unwanted odor, making it more delicious but you should brown only one side to keep it from getting tough.
To make the dish healthier, remove the excess fat with a paper towel.
When the redness in the meat disappears, place it onto a plate.
Now, add the olive oil to the pan.
Add the chopped onion, carrot and celery. Saute the vegetables on high heat but you don't need to caramelize them.
When the vegetables slightly brown and the aroma grows stronger, reduce the heat to low. And then, add the chopped garlic clove.
Continue to stir-fry but be sure not to burn them. When the garlic starts to grow more fragrant, season them with salt and pepper. Add the button mushrooms and stir-fry.
When the oil is distributed evenly, add the crumbled tofu pieces.
Press the tofu onto the bottom of the pan and keep sauteing the mixture. The thawed tofu has a spongy texture so it will absorb the savory tastes of both the meat and vegetables, bringing out the flavor of the dish.
When the tofu warms up, add the saved beef.
Pour the red wine over the ingredients and let the alcohol evaporate completely.
Then, add the packaged tomato sauce, bay leaf and salt.
Distribute the sauce and combine the mixture.
Cover and simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes.
The saltiness of the tomato sauce varies depending on the products so be sure to taste it. Finally, season it with salt and pepper to taste.
If you use packaged diced tomatoes instead of tomato sauce, add a small amount of ketchup or Japanese Worcestershire sauce to give it a savory flavor.
When you make this recipe a vegetarian dish, try adding mashed boiled soy beans instead of the ground beef.