Every now and then, I come across a dish that makes me say "DUH!" — yes, a dish so elementary in its concept, it makes me speak like a 14-year-old. Yook soo is beef broth that you drink like tea. DUH. How perfectly genius is that? It's usually served at naeng myun restaurants where the steaming, rich broth offsets the cold spiciness of bibim naeng myun or hwae naeng myun. It's also a great counterpoint to the vinegary tartness of mul naeng myun. I can usually go through a jug of this stuff on my own . . . I don't think that you're supposed to drink that much, hence the strange looks from our servers when I request for my cup to be refilled again and again. But to be honest, I don't really care about appearances when I'm confronted with a seemingly bottomless carafe of yook soo. It's that good.
I made a pot of this a few months ago, and we managed to polish it off rather quickly. So tonight I pulled out the 16-quart stockpot and went to town. As with any rich stock, it needs to simmer for several hours to draw the flavor out from the bones. In fact, as I write this, it's still on the stove. Not sure where I will end up storing it all considering that my freezer is at capacity. Guess we'll just have to drink it. Darn.
- 6 lbs. beef bones (preferably leg bones, but knee and back bones will work, too)
- 1 Korean radish (moo), peeled
- 1 onion, peeled
- 5 cloves garlic
- Beef dashida, to taste
- Parboil the bones: Thoroughly wash the bones under cold water, scrubbing off bone fragments and bits of fat and sinews. Place in a large stockpot, cover with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, and allow bones to simmer for about 20 minutes. You should see scum and residue from the bones rise to the surface. Drain the bones and discard the water. Scrub out the pot, then place the bones back into the pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. If more residue appears on the surface of the water, repeat simmering, draining, and cleaning the pot until the water boils clean.
- Once the broth boils clear, add radish, onion, and garlic to the water. Add more water, depending on how much broth you want to end up with. Bring back to a boil, and simmer gently for 5-6 hours.
- To serve, transfer enough stock for one serving to a smaller pot and season with dashida. Store the rest in air-tight containers in the freezer for up to 3 months.