Slow Cook Korean Beef Stew

Posted on

2014-02-28 12.37.48

My father in-law came to visit a couple weeks ago and I wanted to make something special for him. I have been having a tormenting hankering for Asian food. I have been perusing through some Korean themed recipes for ideas and inspiration. I found a Korean ground beef recipe ground beef didn’t seem to be appealing to me at that time. I needed something more elegant. Even though it doesn’t take a lot of effort to impress my family, I wanted to try something new. This slow cook Korean beef stew, or Galbi Jim, was novel enough.  I happen to have a strong affinity towards Asian cuisine minus the heavy dosage of MSG and sodium content that are seen in a lot of these dishes.

This recipe is the slow-cooker adaptation of a Korean ground beef recipe I saw online, hence the same great authentic flavor. When I use my slow cooker, I like to minimize the prep work as much as possible.  Slow cookers are meant for that afterall. So, there’s no need for  grating, mincing, par-boiling or browning in this recipe. You can do the prep work the night before.  Or you can start the slow cooker in the morning before heading out, and come home to a delicious hearty meal waiting for you.

These Korean braised short ribs are slow simmered over low heat to a tender and sweet finish. It’s hard to have leftovers with Galbi Jim because it’s such a crowd-pleaser, whether it’s served at a fancy gathering or just as a comforting home style meal. If you can’t find short ribs, flanken will work as well. You can also use any cut of beef if you like. To stretch the recipe, you can cut up pieces of brisket or other roasting beef cuts to stew size and cook with the short ribs. But you should always try to make it with bone-in ribs, because like Italian osso bucco or Irish stew, Galbi Jim relies on the stewed bone marrow for its rich flavor.  The ingredients in this recipe generate a lot of liquid, so no additional broth or water is necessary. The result is fall off the bone tender meat in a rich, slightly sweet and savory sauce!

For this recipe, you will need:

  1. 3 lbs of short ribs or flanken rinsed in cold water (you can use goulash beef cubes if you can’t find any)
  2. 1 onion thinly sliced
  3. 3 cloves of garlic minced
  4. 2 knobs of fresh ginger minced
  5. 1 small chili pepper minced
  6. 2 scallions finely chopped
  7. 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
  8. 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  9. 1/2 Asian pear peeled and finely chopped (if you can’t find any, leave it out and add something else if you like)
  10. 1/4 cup of honey
  11. 1/2 cup of reduced sodium soy sauce
  12. 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  13. 2 medium potatoes cut up into large chunks
  14. 3 carrots cut into 2-inch lengths
  15. Salt and pepper for taste


In the bottom of your slow cooker, mix together soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and honey. Add onion, garlic, ginger, Asian pear, potatoes, carrots, and chili pepper. Season short ribs with sea salt and pepper. Place them in the slow-cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.  Stir in the sesame oil. Taste and season if necessary. Garnish with chopped scallion.

Yields 6 servings




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