Some people like to make comments about whether or not the meat you order at an Asian restaurant is really beef (perhaps the kitchen help grabbed a dog or cat from the alley). In Colombia, the strangest meat my tongue has come in contact with is just the “awful” innards of chickens.
We do have a lot of cows even in the city; I pass a few on my way to teach classes on Thursday and even more on my ride to Cota Friday afternoons. However, the meat isn’t tender. I wonder if it is the way the butchers cut it up, or if it is what the cows eat. Maybe it has something to do with most Colombian kitchens having pressure cookers, too.
Anyway, I decided to try a recipe for Korean ribs. Last week, I blended up the sauce, and this morning I finally got around to buying some beef. It seemed silly to spend money on ribs that were mostly bones, so I looked at my other options. Milanesa was listed, but none in stock. Bola, muchacho, desmechar…and sudar. The desmechar-type is a kind that you should be able to shred after cooking. It probably would have worked well, but there was only one small packet left. Instead, I bought the sudar-type. Sudar is the Spanish equivalent of sweat, I believe.
When I returned to our apartment, I put the beef with cold water in a large pot on the stove. When the water started to boil, I lowered the heat so that the meat would simmer, covered. After a little more than 30 minutes I added some salt. Perhaps 15 minutes later I drained most of the water off and poured in my “Korean” sauce. I let it cook at least another 30 minutes, placing chopped vegetables in the steamer above the meat, but the beef was not looking tender and Joel was hungry for his main course. In the end, I pulled some of the pieces out and sliced them. They were more tender than they looked, thankfully. I returned the smaller slices to the sauce in the pan and stirred them a bit before serving the meat and vegetables.
1 1/2 cups soy sauce
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/4 cup vegetable oil (soy/olive)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup apple wine
1 pear, peeled and grated
2 kiwis, peeled and mashed
1 teaspoons salt
Authentic? Maybe my sister or my school friend, Jessica could tell you; they both taught at a Christian school in Seoul.
Either way, my husband was happy; he licked his plate.