Beef braised in soy sauce is a popular appetizer in Korea. Like oxtail soup, it is made with a relatively inexpensive cut of meat which is unfamiliar to me. Like oxtail, beef shank is rich in fat and collagen thus making both good candidates for long slow gentle cooking which produce delicious broths.
To be honest, I had not planned to make this dish! There is a lot on my mind these days so sometimes I don’t pay close attention to what I’m doing. Recently we spent some hours at the old house cleaning and sorting and tossing out junk. On the way home we stopped for prepared food at The Produce Station.
J. wanted beef, and a bowl of hot soup. They had some nice beef and horseradish sandwiches. They always have an interesting selection of soups, and when I saw chicken and wild rice soup,
I saw a winner. I was briefly distracted by a small ‘discussion’ behind me—call me an eavesdropper! At home, the soup was actually spinach and wild mushroom.
Very good, but not wild rice! For lunch at work, I popped into the Produce Station for some of the soup I craved. This time I came up with jalapeño chile and yellow beans.
So far from what I wanted to eat…
So at least oxtails and beef shank look almost similar in that they are both round, with a bone in the center…
This is tasty recipe, but be careful: again I wasn’t paying attention and allowed the shank to boil vigorously for several minutes and the meat became very tough! Looking beyond my Korean cookbook, I’ll note also that most recipes make this dish much spicier. More garlic, more shoyu, more ginger. Some recipes even add honey. Alternate cuts of meat include brisket and flank (skirt) steak. Oh, and I didn’t trust myself to return to the store for the key ingredient: shishito, the small green peppers. Mustard greens are also a bit spicy…
by Ji Sook Choe and Yukiko Moriyama
serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer or light lunch
- 1 pound beef shank (about 450 grams)
(I used 2 pounds)
- 8 cups water
- 4 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 ½ Tablespoons sake
- 2 Tablespoons mirin
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 ounce ginger root
- 6-8 peppercorns
- 3 hardboiled eggs
- 6 small green peppers
Place the beef in a large pot, add the water, and bring to a simmer. (This is where I went wrong, walking away from the super-quick unfamiliar electric stove meant that the water reached a hard boil for several minutes, making the beef tough.) Add the soy sauce, sake, mirin, sugar, garlic, ginger root and pepper corns. Cover and simmer on low heat for 2 ½ to 3 hours, until the meat is tender.
This recipe directs to add the shelled hard-boiled eggs 20 minutes before the meat is done, but other recipes add raw eggs at the beginning. Remove the eggs after about 20 minutes, crack the shells, and return to the pot. The soy sauce seeps into the cracks and makes pretty patterns on the eggs.
Add the green peppers and simmer until they are just tender.
Remove the meat. eggs, and peppers. Chill.
Strain the broth and remove the floating fat. One can chill the broth or use a fat separator.
Slice the meat thinly. Cut the eggs into 6 wedges. Arrange on a plate (with the peppers) to serve as an appetizer. Moisten with a little of the broth.
The broth is too delicious to discard: heat it and pour it over hot rice!
Or use it on noodles, as my next post illustrates…