This soy-braised beef dish is sweet, salty and garlicky with a hint of spicy kick from the green chillies. It is one of the most beloved banchan (Korean side dishes) to put in a lunchbox.
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) gravy beef (see Note)
- 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) soy sauce
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 75 g (2¾ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 10–12 garlic cloves, peeled
- 6–8 large green chillies
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- Cut the beef into 5–6 cm (2–2½ in) chunks against the grain. Transfer the meat to a large saucepan and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Skim off any impurities that rise to the surface, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 1 hour. Test the beef by piercing it with a fork. It should go through with a little resistance.
- Add the remaining ingredients except the chillies. Bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low, remove the lid and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut the chillies in half lengthways and remove the seeds and membranes. Add the chillies to the pot and simmer for a further 15 minutes or until the beef is tender. By now, a fork should easily pierce the meat and the liquid should have reduced to one-third of its original volume.
- Remove from the heat and, using two forks, shred the meat into bite-sized chunks so it soaks up the sauce. Leave the beef to cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
- Serve the braised beef either chilled, straight from the refrigerator, or reheated in the microwave for 20–30 seconds. It goes well with simple steamed rice.
• You can substitute gravy beef for brisket or shank.
• The longer the beef mixture sits in the refrigerator, the more robust the flavours will become.
Recipe and images from Little Korea Iconic Dishes and Cult Recipes by Billy Law, Smith Street Books, RRP $49.99