Rustic Korean Style Braised Ribs

This is a very rustic, delicious, and soul satisfying dish, courtesy of my Korean mama.  While these beef stew “low and slow” kinds of dishes aren’t the prettiest of things, they stick around because the flavor you get out of them is just incredible.  Everything sort of melts down and becomes a medley of flavors that you can only get by cooking the ingredients together in this manner.  Here we used beef back ribs, but you could use any kind of beef ribs you like, but it’s important that the meat you pick involves some sort of bone.  The bones really flavor the sauce and give it a wonderful mouthfeel.  Here’s how to make it:

4-5 pounds beef back ribs
5 thin slices of fresh ginger
1 quart beef, chicken or vegetable stock
1 bunch of scallions, bottom root half only
2 bell peppers (red, green, yellow, or orange)
3 celery stalks
4 medium carrots
1 zucchini
8 oz baby bella mushrooms
1/2 cup roasted chestnuts (you can get packages of them already peeled/roasted)
1/2 cup dates
1/2 a yellow or red onion
5 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp honey
1 tsp black pepper

Soak the ribs in ice cold water for 10 minutes.  This draws the blood out of the meat (ewwww, but okay.  Fact: if you’re eating meat then you’re eating blood, and that’s just the way it is.  Fortunately using this method you can draw a lot of it out).  Drain the ribs, then cut off some of the excess fat.

Put the ribs into a big stockpot along with the ginger, stock, and scallions, and simmer on medium heat with the lid on for 1 hour.  Let it all cool to room temperature, then refrigerate it until the fat hardens.  Fortunately for us, the fat rises the top and hardens up (it sort of looks like white chocolate).  You should be able to lift it up and remove it with a spoon very easily:

Discard the hardened fat, and either remove the scallions and ginger with tongs, or strain them out.

Chop up the peppers, celery, carrots, zucchini, onion, and mushrooms evenly.  Get the vegetable oil down in a saute pan set over medium high heat, and add the carrots, onion, and celery, cooking for 3 minutes with a pinch of salt.  Add the peppers and mushrooms, and cook for another 5 minutes.  Add the zucchini, and the garlic, and cook for 1 more minute.

Add the beef ribs to your veggie pan (don’t add the beef liquid/stock yet), along with the wine.  Cook that for 5 minutes to let the alcohol cook off a little bit, then add in the beef stock, soy sauce, honey, black pepper, chestnuts, and dates.  Simmer for 30 minutes to reduce and thicken the sauce.  It is delicious served with rice.  Enjoy!  Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!  Happy eating!

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5 Responses to Rustic Korean Style Braised Ribs

  1. Jaqie says:

    I just ate and this got me hungry all over again!!

  2. We usually use traditional sweet rice syrup rather than honey. The rice syrup is really thick, and I think complements better. But the honey is a lot easier to find than the rice syrup.
    Reading this made me realize how much time goes into cooking Korean food. I don’t know how my mom has done it for the past 30 years. haha

    Great comprehensive guide

    • Thanks for your comment Michael! I have never even encountered rice syrup. Sounds interesting! I bet I can find it online. And yes, Korean cooking food is very time consuming, it seems. But sooooo goooooood!

  3. Elain Ponce De Leon says:

    I love all the ingredients in your recipe and the fact that you don’t add sugar. I have seen so many kalbi jjim recipes with sugar and that’s one ingredient that my hubby doesn’t like me to add. I’m going to have to try out your recipe this weekend! Thanks for sharing!

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