Home cooking for Korean food: Sataejjim (slow cooker braised beef shank)

Sataejjim, or slow cooker braised beef shank.
Sataejjim, or slow cooker braised beef shank.PHOTO: THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

(THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Sataejjim is a traditional braised dish that's made with bite-sized chunks of beef shank meat (satae).

Beef shank is a tough cut of meat with lots of connective tissue. Slow cooking breaks down the collagen into a rich, flavourful gelatin. Sataejjim is often a cheaper or less fatty alternative to galbijjim (braised short ribs).

In Korean cooking, beef shank is a popular cut of meat for making soup and braised dishes such as jangjorim. If you are using pieces with the bone still in them, cut the meat off the bones into bite-sized pieces and throw both the meat and bones into the slow cooker. The bones will impart great flavour to the dish. 

Traditional braised dishes call for grated Korean pear. For this recipe, I experimented with apricot preserve, which worked really well. You can also use yujacheong (yuja marmalade). 


Ingredients

1.4kg beef shank meat (satae)
120g burdock root (ueong)
160g Korean radish (mu) 
1 medium carrot
½ medium onion 
2 scallions
8 plump garlic cloves
3 to 4 thin ginger slices (about 3 cm round)
4 dried shiitake mushrooms (or any other dried mushrooms), broken up into 2 to 3 pieces 
4 to 5 small dried red chili peppers (or ½ teaspoon crushed red peppers) - optional

Sauce

⅓ cup soy sauce
¼ cup rice wine (or white wine)
2 tablespoons apricot preserve (or yujacheong or honey) 
1 tablespoon sugar
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 scallion, roughly chopped, for garnish

Method

Rinse the meat. Drain well or pat dry with paper towels. Cut the meat into 5- to 6cm chunks. Prepare the vegetables by cutting them into big chunks. 

Place the meat and vegetables in the slow cooker. Mix together the soy sauce, rice wine, apricot preserve, sugar and pepper in a small bowl and pour over the meat and vegetables. Lightly sprinkle with salt. Toss everything to coat with the sauce. Cover, and cook for three to four hours on high or six to seven hours on low. Flip the meat over midway through the process, if you're home. Adjust the cooking time, depending on how tender you want your meat to be. 

Sprinkle with a pinch (or two) of salt if necessary. Stir in the scallions and sesame oil before turning the slow cooker off. 

Move the meat and vegetables from the slow cooker to a large serving bowl. Pour the sauce over the meat to serve. You can run the sauce through a strainer for a clearer sauce if you like.