Appliance-Aided Braising

I love the flavors put forth in Korean cuisine. Salty, sweet, and tangy, it's also regularly brimming with rich garlicky flavor. And few cultures know how to handle tough cuts of meat better. Long marinating times followed by long braising on the stove or in the oven mean tender meat, but a lot of time spent babysitting dinner. However, if you have a slow cooker or electric pressure cooker, you are in luck. You can have all that flavor and tender meat without a lot of effort.

I've included instructions for either appliance in the recipe below. I happened to have some rich mushroom soy sauce on hand and happily used that in this dish. It's earthier and thicker than traditional soy sauce and works beautifully in this recipe. Don't feel obligated to do the same though. The onion basically melts into the sauce and makes it a bit thick after the cooking time has elapsed. If you want to skip that, you can, but the sauce will be a bit on the thin side.

I tend to serve this particular dish with mashed potatoes that have had some wasabi stirred into them. The extra kick is great when paired with this flavorful meat. I also roasted some carrots and tossed them with honey, tamari sauce, and a bit of grated ginger. There's a lot of flavor in a meal like this - a perfect feast for a cold winter day!

Korean Beef Short Ribs

  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced vertically
  • 8 large cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • ½ cup soy sauce or tamari - I used some delightful mushroom soy sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 4 long-cut bone-in beef short ribs (2 ½ to 3 pounds), trimmed of excess fat

Combine the onion through salt and pepper in an electric pressure cooker or slow cooker. Set the pressure cooker to sauté or the slow cooker to high to preheat.

When the sauce ingredients are warm, set the ribs, meat side down, in the pressure cooker or slow cooker. Cover and bring to high pressure and cook for 20 minutes; allow to rest in the pot for 10 minutes before manually releasing the pressure. Alternately, in the slow cooker, cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours or until very tender.

Remove the finished ribs to a baking sheet and broil, brushing with the pan sauce, to give the ribs some texture. Serve with additional pan sauce for dipping and/or drizzle over mashed potatoes or rice.

  • Yields: 3-4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 40 minutes (electric pressure cooker) or 4-6 hours (slow cooker)