Korean Slow Cooker Short Ribs

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Oh, heavens, these ribs are delicious. I feel like I’ve redeemed some of those recent recipe tragedies with this. All the recipes I was finding for traditional Korean short ribs used nearly equal parts soy sauce and granulated sugar. I’m so glad I remembered to search Michelle Tam’s blog, Nom Nom Paleo, as she always does brilliant things with meat in healthy ways, often in a slow cooker. Score. I went for a bigger flavor than her recipe started with, making mine saltier (soy sauce) and sweeter (pear juice and tamarind paste) and spicier (chili paste). I tamed it all down by serving on a bit of rice heated up with a bunch of spinach and some of the sauce. As is usual, it was even better the next day and the day after that. Excellent lunch fare and the perfect way to wake up your palate. Yum!

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Korean Slow Cooker Short Ribs
Adapted from Nom Nom Paleo

Ingredients: 
3 pounds of bone-in beef short ribs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 canned pear halves (make sure to only use pears canned in juice, not a sugar syrup)
1 cup canned pear juice
1 tsp tamarind paste
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 cup soy sauce or coconut aminos
3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1 onion, sliced thinly
1 Tbs minced ginger
2 tsp of fish sauce
1 Tbs rice vinegar
1 tsp chili paste
Small handful of roughly chopped fresh cilantro

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Instructions:
Preheat your broiler with the rack 6 inches from the heating element. Season the ribs with salt and pepper and lay the ribs, bone-side up on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil the ribs for 5 minutes and then flip them over and broil for another 5 minutes. Stack the ribs in a single layer in the slow cooker. Sprinkle the onion slices over the meat. Next, toss the pear halves, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, chili paste, pear juice and vinegar in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour over the ribs in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. When it’s time to serve the ribs, remove the meat from the slow cooker and place them on a serving platter. Let the braising liquid settle for 5 minutes and then ladle off the fat if you wish. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, and pour a cup of sauce over the ribs. Sprinkle on the chopped cilantro and serve the remaining sauce on the side with rice and/or spinach if you feel like it.

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