Korean Braised Beef Short Ribs are slightly spicy, slightly sweet and totally amazing!
You know the old saying about March winds that bring April showers that bring forth May flowers.
We’re running about a month ahead here: February was windy as all get-out and it’s now March and it’s raining like crazy! April should be flower-filled and gorgeous!
With spring coming so early, it occurred to me recently that I never had a chance to make one of my all-time favorite winter dishes–braised beef short ribs. Before it got too warm, I had to rectify that!
Beef short ribs can appear intimidating at first with their boney, hunky appearance. One of my favorite cooking methods in all the world is a slow braise because, with a little time, it is truly magical how a tough cut of meat transforms into something buttery and fall-off-the-bone tender. When this magical cooking method is paired with a robust cuisine such as Korean, the combination is truly extraordinary.
Korean cuisine has grown in popularity in recent years and will likely remain so with the 2018 Winter Olympics taking place in South Korea. The cuisine always seemed mysterious and intimidating to me until I was intrigued enough to try one of Korea’s staple side dishes—kimchi. I was hooked–so hooked I now make my own kimchi! (See recipe.)
This recipe is scaled for two people. I like to use four ribs for two servings because as the connective tissue melts away, they shrink quite a bit. It’s not often I use a slow-cooker for just the two of us, but because of their size, four long-cut bone-in beef short ribs fill a large oval slow-cooker nicely. If four ribs end up being too much, they reheat beautifully.
This recipe uses gochujang, an ingredient that is being referred to as the “new” sriracha. I call it umami in a jar! Loving this stuff! Gochujang is a savory, spicy, slightly sweet, fermented Korean condiment made from red chiles, rice, soybeans and salt. I found it at The Fresh Market, however it can be found at international markets or online.
A main characteristic of Korean cuisine is the abundance of side dishes and condiments served at the table. In addition to the seared scallions in this recipe, serve with kimchi, brown rice and fresh shredded carrots.
Korean Braised Beef Short Ribs are slightly spicy, slightly sweet and totally amazing! Slow-braising makes them buttery and fall-off-the-bone tender.
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced vertically
- 8 large cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1/2 cup soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos
- 1/4 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons gochujang (fermented Korean chile paste)
- 1 tablespoon dark (toasted) sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon canola, vegetable or peanut oil
- salt and black pepper
- 4 long-cut bone-in beef short ribs (2 1/2 to 3 pounds), trimmed of excess fat
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 bunches scallions, root ends trimmed
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- shredded carrots
- cooked brown rice
Combine first 9 ingredients in a slow cooker. Set slow cooker to high to preheat.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Generously season beef short ribs with salt and black pepper. Add short ribs to pan, reduce heat to medium and brown well on all sides, approximately 2-3 minutes per side.
Transfer ribs, meat side down, to slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours or until very tender.
Combine cornstarch with approximately 4 tablespoons of the cooking liquid in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Pour cornstarch mixture into slow cooker, stir to blend and cook uncovered on high for approximately 20 minutes. Turn slow cooker off and let stand 10 minutes. (Sauce will thicken more upon standing.)
Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a skillet or sauté pan over medium-high. Cook scallions, 2-3 minutes or until slightly softened and browned.
Serve short ribs with scallions, kimchi, cooked brown rice and shredded carrots.
MAKE AHEAD: These beef short ribs reheat beautifully. Reheat in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until heated through.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY: Cool thoroughly, package securely in an airtight container and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator and heat 30-40 minutes or until heated through.