14 (Thu) April 2011
-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
Ggori Tang (꼬리탕) is a Korean dish. As the name would suggest, it’s a soup (tang) made with tail (ggori), specifically oxtail.
The simplest and most time-consuming dish that I make. It starts with a full tail, precut into jointed segments. Costco here sells Australian beef tails for 24,000 won each. I first boil the pieces for about 30 minutes to extract the blood and impurities, discard the water, rinse the pieces of all the gunk, and then dump everything back into the clean pot with about 12 liters of fresh water. As the water comes to a boil, I add a combination of aromatics, including garlic, onions, leeks, radish, carrots, and celery, which I discard after about 30 minutes. I add 2 teaspoons of salt to season the meat as it cooks. Then, I reduce the heat to low, half cover the pot, and simmer for 4 hours. After 4 hours, the stock is reduced to a third and the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender. I place the pot in a cool place until it’s nearly room temperature, around 2 hours. I transfer the pot to the refrigerator for another 2 hours or so, at which point the congealed fat on the surface of the stock can be skimmed off. (In the winter, I leave the whole thing out on the balcony overnight and skim the fat in the morning.) I return the pot to the heat, now with a dense, fat-free, intensely beefy broth, and add salt and liberal amounts of both black and white pepper. Just prior to serving, I top it off with sliced leeks.
Among all my dishes, this one is W’s favorite. I usually make it for her as a comfort food, several times a year, like when she’s sick or returns from a long overseas business trip. With the 8-plus hours that it requires to prepare, I tend to start the process the day before and serve it for breakfast or lunch the following day, which explains why it’s never been featured on the blog as a dinner item before now.
W returned from a 4-day trip to Beijing this evening, so I’d spent the whole day making a batch to be ready in time for dinner. Turns out that (a) the trip had been more of a jaunt for company execs, featuring back-to-back-to-back banquets of the finest Chinese cuisine, which meant that she hadn’t suffered much on the food end and thus wasn’t really in need of comfort food; and (b) as soon as she arrived home, she immediately changed and went out again to a VIP dinner. Poor me, the neglected housewife.
(For more details re food, see WHAT)
(For more details re venues, see WHERE IN KOREA)