Monday, October 13, 2014

Lazy Sunday: Korean Short Rib and Kimchi Tacos

On this rare occasion of actually being home on a Sunday with nothing to do aside from trying to meld with my couch, I realized that I needed something equally lazy to make. Following some of Cafe TH's addictive Vietnamese tacos for lunch Saturday, I decided to stay with the Mexican-Asian Fusion theme of my weekend and to revisit an old friend long neglected since I left L.A.- the powerful and pungent kimchi.

Would having to go to two stores for supplies ruin my lazy Sunday? Would my tacos burn after their wonderful aroma lulled me into a deep sleep?

Korean Tacos
Adapted from Foodie with Family
Servings: 10-12 tacos
Time: 5 1/2 hours (inactive for 5)
The super packed braising liquid

Slow Cooker
10 oz pear juice
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 white onion, sliced
4 tbsp ginger, minced or grated
1 1/2 jalapenos, seeded and sliced
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup gochujang (which I couldn't find so I used Korean BBQ Marinade)
1/4 cup mirin
2 tbsp sesame oil
You'll somehow find room for the meat
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 pear, peeled, cored and grated
5 lbs beef short ribs on the bone
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp canola or peanut oil

Flour tortillas
Pear slices

  1. Combine the pear juice, garlic, onion, ginger, jalapeno, brown sugar, gochujang (or Korean BBQ marinade), mirin, sesame oil, soy sauce and grated pear together in a slow cooker. Cover and turn to high.
  2. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. 
  3. Heat a large pan over medium. Add oil and brown each side of the short ribs until a crust forms (about 2-3 minutes per side). You may have to do this in shifts. You don't want to overcrowd the pan.
  4. Add the short ribs to the slow cooker. Cover and let cook over high for 5 hours until tender and falling off the bone.
  5. Take the ribs out from the slow cooker. Lightly pull the short ribs, removing the bones, excess fat, and connective tissue. You may want to let the fat separate out from the liquid before adding it back to the short ribs, or you may end up with an overly oily taco.
  6. Serve in a flour tortilla topped with kimchi, cilantro, jalapeno slices, pear slices and sriracha.

Short ribs at their tender finest
I don't even know where to begin with these titans of the taco realm. The short ribs themselves were fall apart tender, but also maintained a lot of moisture and flavor on their own without the need for additional liquid. But that is not to say that you should ignore the braising liquid as it is a treasure trove of amazing (again, just make sure you separate out some excess oil). The dominant flavor is a wonderful sesame and soy combo highlighting the Korean origins, while the cooked down onion and jalapenos are perfect at delivering all that soaked up goodness. It only got better with the toppings, as the kimchi really stood out with the powerful, spicy, tangy and crunchy fermented cabbage, while the pears added even more juiciness and freshness, and the sriracha helped cement a wonderful lip-tingling spiciness. If only all Sundays could be like this.

Works even better with HEB Southwest Tortillas

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