I couldn’t resist bringing some more Korean flavours to your table, with this gorgeous braised beef dish. There is intense pleasure in braising beef, especially in winter. Braised beef itself becomes a perfect ingredient, I make it in big batches and use it for brunch, in pies, or stick it on top of some smashed crisped baked potatoes, or rice.
Braised beef is better again using flavours and textures which confer on it depth and richness. Gojuchang, Korean pepper paste that is made with bright Korean red pepper, glutinous rice, soybeans and salt, fermented together resulting in a bright red paste that is flavour packed and a wonderful ingredient. It is just hot enough and it is round, giving all it touches a depth of flavour, punchy heat and gorgeousness. It is a pantry staple in my kitchen and saviour of many a tired evening.
The most important thing about this braised beef is the time before it hits the pot, the time that it marinades. I have marinaded it overnight, and for 6 hours. Aim for the first but the second will give great results also. Time allows a marinade to massage its way in, first in the fridge and later over gentle heat. Like tiny pummelling fingers, the salt makes its way in, seasoning the beef and bringing its new found flavour friends along with it. Braised beef is not complicated, it just requires a little patience.
I had this with rice, I had it in little lettuce wraps brightened with gojuchang mayonnaise (1 part gojuchang to 4 parts mayo) and topped with pea shoots and shredded spring onions. Next time I plan to put this in a pie, I think that would be wonderful.
Enjoy and have a gorgeous weekend!
- 1.5kg brisket, coarsely chopped
- 2 onions
- 500ml beer (I used a golden ale)
- 250ml beef or chicken stock
- neutral oil for frying
- 75g gojuchang
- 60ml Korean anchovy sauce (or fish sauce)
- 60ml soy sauce
- 3 cloves garlic and 1 inch of ginger, coarsely chopped and pounded to a paste in a pestle and mortar or food processor
Prepare your marinade by combining all of the ingredients. Chop your brisket into sizeable chunks (mine were an inch thick and up to 2 inches wide) and massage the marinade into the beef. Leave it for a minimum of 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a large sauté pan or similar. Slice the onions finely and fry them over a medium heat until soft, about 6 minutes. Add the beef and marinade and fry until the beef is browned. Add the ale and the stock and bring to the boil before reducing the heat and allowing to simmer with the lid on for 2 hours.
Take the lid off to reduce the sauce over about half an hour until it is thick but there is still plenty of it.
Enjoy, however you want to. This makes exceptional tacos, a great baked potato topping or just have it on toast or with rice. Share how you enjoyed it in the comments below!