This is a sponsored post on behalf of Ontario Corn Fed Beef. Thanks for supporting the brands that help to keep the Crumb test kitchen running! All opinions are entirely my own, as always.
Winter took its sweet time coming along this year, but come it did, all snowy and blustery and cold.
And according to the 5-day forecast, it’s about to get even colder. Like, the kind of cold that will have me seriously considering quitting my job so I can move to Mexico for the next few months.
But since that’s not an option, I’m sticking with some serious comfort food therapy instead, starting with a big batch of slow-braised short ribs.
There’s something incredibly comforting about short ribs that have been simmered for hours until they’re literally falling off the bone. They’re tender and incredibly flavourful, and as a bonus, you get to suck on the bones when you’re done with everything else. (Well, assuming you like to suck on bones… I’m kind of weird like that.)
To get really amazing braised short ribs, you want to choose richly marbled meat, which is one of reasons I love Ontario Corn Fed Beef for this dish. All that lovely fat will keep the meat tender and moist, for that wonderfully comforting melt-in-your-mouth texture that a proper braise should have.
For this particular version, I’ve borrowed inspiration from Korean cuisine in a few ways.
First, I chose to use Korean-style ribs, which are cut thinly across the rib bones, instead of the European-style (also known as flanken) I normally buy, which are cut into thick blocks along the bone. Typically, Korean-style ribs are marinated and grilled, but since it’s not exactly grilling weather out there, I decided to braise them instead in a glossy dark sauce made with Korean-inspired flavours like dark soy, soju, ginger, gochujang paste and Asian pear.
The end result is incredibly tender beef bathed in a deeply flavourful sauce that’s equal parts sweet, salty and slightly spicy. A few chunks of carrot and parsnip help to soak up all those delicious flavours, while a sprinkling of fresh green onion adds a touch of freshness.
All you need is a bowl of steamed rice, and you’ve got yourself a surefire cure for the winter’s-finally-here blues.
- 4 lbs Ontario Corn Fed Beef short ribs, cross-cut (Korean-style)
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup dark soy sauce
- ¼ cup soju (Korean rice liquor) or sake
- 2 tbsp gochujang paste
- 1 small Asian pear, peeled and diced (~½ cup)
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 4 slices fresh ginger, cut ¼” thick
- 2 pieces star anise
- 2 large carrots, cut into 1” chunks
- 2 large parsnips, cut into 1” chunks
- Finely sliced green onion, for garnish
- Cooked white rice, for serving
- Heat the canola oil in a large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Pat the short ribs dry using paper towel. Working in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan, sear the ribs until they are very well browned, approximately 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer the ribs to a platter, and drain off all of the fat from the pan.
- Return the pan to the stovetop, and stir in the water, soy sauce brown sugar, soju and gochujang. Stir until smooth, and then add the pear, garlic, ginger and star anise. Nestle the ribs into the pan. (Depending on the size of your short ribs, they may not be completely covered by the braising liquid, but this is okay - as long as the liquid comes up about three quarters up, you’re fine.)
- Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cover tightly. Simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add the carrots and parsnips, and continue simmering until the ribs are very tender and falling off the bone, about 30 minutes longer.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer short ribs and vegetables to a serving platter, and cover to keep warm.
- Skim off as much excess fat as you can from the sauce in the pan. Increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Cook until the sauce is glossy, thick and reduced to about 2 cups, about 8-10 minutes. Pour the sauce over the short ribs and sprinkle with green onion. Serve on a bed of steamed rice.