Lunar New Year Recipe Part 2: Braised Oxtail on a Bed of Chives

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Imagine chunks of beef short ribs slowly simmering away in garlicky soy sauce the color of dark caramel, the saltiness from the soy sauce balanced out by just the right amount of sweet which will ultimately impart a beautiful sheen to the finished ribs.

Imagine the softest turnip and shiitake mushrooms, chestnuts and jujubes all cooked in the same braising liquid until each dark and velvety, tasting like the beef they have been simmering with for hours.

This dish is called galbijjim and it is a Seol staple, always a crowd-pleaser. The finished ribs are beautifully tender from the low and slow braise, each bite intensely beefy and rich – a result of the fats and muscles breaking down over time in a simmering pool of savory sweet sauce. And that silky sauce! Drizzle it all over a bowl of steamed rice and all is right with the world.

The following is Twenty Four SeasonsBraised Oxtail on a Bed of Chives recipe sent to us by Chef Jeong Hye Jung. The dish is offered as part of the one-Michelin-starred restaurant’s Daehan(“The Great Chill”) winter dinner course. It is a dish more or less similar to galbijjim, but prepared with oxtail instead of beef ribs.

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Braised Oxtail on a Bed of Chives

Ingredients (makes 3-4 portions)

3 kg of oxtail

70 g of whole garlic cloves

30 g of whole ginger

2 g of black peppercorns

30 g of large green onions

1 bunch of chives

(Optional: Turnip, shiitake mushrooms, fresh ginseng, ginkgo nuts)

Braising Liquid:

435 cc of Korean soy sauce

250 g of sugar

300 cc of malt syrup (or honey)

4.5 L of water

35 g of whole garlic cloves

20 g of whole ginger

1 g of black peppercorns

20 g of large green onions

1 onion

Method:

  1. Soak oxtail in cold water for at least three hours to remove blood. Change water frequently.
  2. Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the oxtail completely. Add 70 g of whole garlic cloves, 30 g of whole ginger, 2 g of black peppercorns and 30 g of large green onions and bring to a boil. Add the oxtail parboil for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove parboiled oxtail from the pot and rinse with cold water. With a paring knife, remove fat and sinew from the meat.
  4. This time, fill the same large pot with 4.5 liters of cold water. Add all the ingredients for the braising sauce and bring to a boil. Once the liquid starts to boil, add the trimmed oxtail and braise for two hours.
  5. When the oxtail is almost done, blanch the chives in the braising liquid for 4-5 seconds.
  6. At this point, you may add the optional ingredients (turnip, mushrooms, ginkgo nuts, fresh ginseng) to the braising liquid. Make sure to chop the turnip and shiitake mushrooms into bite-sized pieces. Cook until the turnip becomes soft.
  7. Arrange the blanched chives on a plate. Serve oxtail on top of the chives with the turnip, mushrooms, ginseng and ginkgo nuts. Drizzle sauce over each of the components.