Recipe: Slow-Cooker Korean Short Ribs

Recipe: Slow-Cooker Korean Short Ribs

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Michelle Tam
May 21, 2015
(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

Back when I was working graveyard shifts as a hospital pharmacist, cooking dinner was the absolute last thing I wanted to do when I got home. Fortunately, I learned that I could quickly toss some ingredients into my slow cooker and pass out, confident that I’d wake up when things started smelling good — like these slow-cooked, Asian-spiced ribs.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

Of course, when I do have time to cook, I prepare this dish one to two days in advance and store the cooked dish in the fridge so the flavors can more fully meld. The short ribs release a good amount of fat into the gravy during the cooking process, which you can easily remove when the chilled fat hardens.

If pressed for time, you can skip browning the meat; it will still taste incredible. Also, if you don’t have a slow cooker, don’t sweat it. Instead, cook the stew in a covered ovenproof pot at 300˚F for three to four hours, or until tender.

Tester's Notes

Usually the most hands-on portion of a braising recipe is searing the meat, but that's the genius part of this recipe — the short ribs are just quickly browned under the broiler instead, eliminating any stovetop cooking.

The sauce was a cinch to throw together in the blender, and there was a lot of delicious braising liquid leftover to keep the meat moist. Don't forget the fresh cilantro at the end — it helps add some bright flavors!

- Christine, May 2015

Slow-Cooker Korean Short Ribs

Serves 4 to 6

6 pounds bone-in English-style beef short ribs, preferably grass-fed
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 medium pear or Asian pear, peeled, cored, and chopped coarsely
1/2 cup coconut aminos (like these)
6 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
3 scallions, roughly chopped
1 piece ginger, about the size of your thumb, cut into 2 pieces
2 teaspoons fish sauce, like Red Boat fish sauce
1 tablespoon coconut vinegar
1 cup organic chicken broth
Small handful of roughly chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat your broiler with the rack 6 inches from the heating element. Season the ribs liberally 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. I lay them on their side to cram them all in the pot. Toss the pear, coconut aminos, garlic, scallions, ginger, fish sauce, and vinegar in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour the sauce evenly over the ribs and add the chicken broth to the pot.

Cover with the lid, set the slow cooker on low, and let the ribs stew for 9 to 11 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. (Alternatively, refrigerate overnight and scrape the fat off the top before reheating and serving.)

Sprinkle on the chopped cilantro and serve the remaining sauce on the side.

Recipe Notes

  • Oven-Cooked Short Ribs: Cook the stew in a covered ovenproof pot at 300˚F for 3 to 4 hours, or until tender.
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