Inspired by kalbi jjim, a traditional sweet and savory Korean beef stew made for special occasions where short ribs are cooked for a long time to make it tender and juicy, worthy of a celebration. If you use a pressure cooker or an electric one like Power or Instant Pot, you are guaranteed to have a delicious, comforting meal in less than an hour.
4-5 pounds short ribs and chuck roast (combination – see note 1)
Flour, to coat the meat (about 1/3 cup)
1 large onion, chopped
1 head garlic, chopped
1-inch ginger, finely chopped
½ cup cooking rice wine (see note 2)
½ cup soy sauce (see note 3)
1 Asian pear or apple (grated)
2 tablespoons Gochujang or Sriracha
¼ cup brown sugar
Ground pepper, to taste
1 cup shitake mushrooms
2 cups large-diced carrot
2 cups large-diced radish
3 Scallions, cut into 2” lengths
Sesame seeds (optional)
Cheese (e.g., cheddar, raclette, or gruyere – optional)
1. I used a combination of short ribs for its beefy flavor (trim the excess fat!) and chuck roast with a good marbling (it’s meatier and cheaper!). Cut the chuck roast into large 2” chunks. It will cook about the same time as the short ribs which typically take longer.
2. You can use rice wine, sake, dry sherry, or red/white wine. Alcohol enhances the flavors of this dish but if you want to keep it alcohol-free, you can skip it.
3. Depending on the brand of soy sauce you are using, taste and adjust accordingly. I typically use between ½ and 2/3 cup of soy sauce.
1. Season meat with salt and pepper. Lightly coat with flour. Add a little oil to coat your pot and heat over medium-high. Quickly sear the meat until browned. For an electric pressure cooker, use the Sauté setting. Do this in batches. Do not crowd the pot. Transfer to a plate.
2. Add ginger, onion, and garlic. Add oil, if necessary. Cook until softened and lightly browned.
3. Add wine and let it reduce by half. Add soy sauce, pear, gochujang, sugar, and 2 cups of water (only 1 cup if using a pressure cooker).
4. Stir it up and bring it to a boil. Bring the meat back in. Lower heat to medium, cover, and simmer until the meat is tender about 2-3 hours. Add more water, if needed. For pressure cooker, cover and switch to High or Stew setting for 30 minutes. Make sure to lock the lid and seal the valve.
5. Prepare the vegetables. If using dried shitake mushroom, soak in warm water until softened. Drain. Keep them whole or cut in half. Cut the radish and carrots in the same sizes. Cut the scallions in 2” pieces.
6. After 30 minutes for the pressure cooker (make sure to release the pressure) or when the meat is almost tender for stovetop, skim the layer of fat that floats on top. Taste and see if it needs more soy sauce or sugar.
7. Add the vegetables in and cook for another 10 minutes on High or Stew setting for the pressure cooker or about 20 minutes for the stovetop.
8. Add some ground pepper, sesame seeds, and cheese.
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