Gochujang and Honey Braised Short Ribs

SERVES: 4-6

Although it’s kind of annoying and requires some forethought, braising these ribs the day before you intend to serve them will make things a lot easier in the long run. You’ll chill them overnight which helps to solidify all the fat that the ribs release into the braise, which you can then more easily remove and discard (if you don’t do this, the braise will be a  lot fattier–not necessarily a bad thing, but just beware). I left the serving suggestion open to you–I love them served over a scoop of warm buttered couscous, but rice would be awesome as would noodles or bread. You choose!!

Active Time: 30 Mins

Total Time: 2 days (mostly inactive)

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Produce

  • 12 large shallots
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 granny smith apple
  • 8 radishes
  • 1 bunch parsley

Pantry

  • Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup gochujang
  • ¼ cup prepared horseradish, plus more
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 ½ cups apple juice
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar, plus more

Protein

  • 3 ½ pounds boneless beef short ribs
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1. Prep the ribs:

  • Preheat the oven to 300.
  • Cut the short ribs into 4” inch pieces (if they’re not already). Season them all over with salt and pepper. You can do this up to 48 hours in advance–the longer they sit in seasoning, the better. Keep covered in fridge until ready to use, or let sit at room temp if using immediately.

2. A day before you want to eat, start the braise:

  • Peel 12 large shallots, leaving them whole.
  • Smash and peel all the cloves of 1 head of garlic, leaving them whole.
  • In a large glass measuring cup or bowl, whisk together ¾ cup gochujang, 1 ½ cups apple juice, 2 tablespoons honey, ¼ cup prepared horseradish, 1 ½ teaspoons salt and ½ cup water.
  • In a large Dutch oven with a tight fitting lid, combine the seasoned short ribs, shallots and garlic cloves. Pour the gochujang mixture over everything to cover. Nestle about ½ bunch of parsley into the pot and cover.
  • Transfer the Dutch oven to the oven and cook, covered, 3 ½ to 4 hours. At this point, the meat will be tender and the shallots softened. If you have the time, turn off the oven and leave the braise in the oven until it has fully cooled (I know this sounds crazy, but I often leave the braise in the oven (turned off) overnight. Because the ribs are submerged in a layer of beef fat, they do not risk going bad during this process. Once cool, transfer to the fridge to chill. The point of this is to solidify the fat that has risen to the top of the braise, in  order to scrape it off and discard it. It’s much harder to de-fat a braise when the fat is liquid.

3. Reheat and finish:

  • The next day, pull the Dutch oven out of the fridge. Preheat the oven to 450.
  • Using a spoon, remove as much of the solidified fat (the bright red stuff) from the pot; discard it.
  • With the lid still removed, transfer to the oven to heat through until the sauce is bubbling, and the ribs are caramelized on top, 25-35 minutes.
  • While the ribs reheat, prep the apple salad and whatever starch you are serving (rice, couscous, bread, etc).
  • Using a mandoline or knife, thinly slice 1 apple and 8 radishes. Transfer to a medium bowl along with a big spoonful of prepared horseradish, a big splash of rice vinegar and a few drizzles of olive oil. Pick the leaves of the remaining half bunch of parsley and add to salad. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, adding more vinegar or oil if you think it needs it. The salad should be zippy, bright, and a little spicy from the horseradish.

4. Serve:

  • Just before serving, stir 3 tablespoons rice vinegar into the pot of ribs.
  • Divide the stew among serving bowls, serving it over whatever starch you have prepared and making sure each portion gets some meat and some shallots as well as some braising liquid. Top each bowl with some of the apple salad and serve.

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