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Braised Korean Beef Short Ribs | Relishing It

Full disclosure: this is a blog post in two parts.  First, I lure you in with this recipe for these amazing ribs.  Then “POW!”, I hit you with some truth about what’s wrong with the way we as a society eat and what we can do about it.  Deal?  Alright, let’s start with the ribs.  My husband was still raving about them days later– they’re that good.  Honestly.  Subtly-sweet and balanced with just the right amount of salt.  The ginger, garlic, and orange juice are key.

Braised Korean Beef Short Ribs | Relishing It

I happened to have some gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper powder) left from making homemade kimchi. It worked wonderfully in this dish, but don’t worry if you don’t have it– it will still be amazing without it. Oh, and don’t forget to buy your ribs from someone you can trust, because quality matters.  These beauties came from Bar Five.  Braising season is here, and you really should put these ribs high on your priority list of things to make.

Braised Korean Beef Short Ribs | Relishing It

Now for my sermon.  I was on a run this summer listening to a podcast– because tricking myself into forgetting that I’m running by listening to something interesting is the only way I can tolerate it.  I believe the podcast was the brilliantly-titled ‘Go Fork Yourself’ with Andrew Zimmern and Molly Mogren.  The hosts were discussing the documentary ‘Fed Up‘– an excellent take-down of the Big Food industry.  After hearing them chat, I had to see the film, which came out on DVD a few weeks back.  Now I read a fair amount on food and health, so I was mostly aware of the threats that the large-scale processed-food industry pose.  Even so, this film was eye-opening.  As a passionate food blogger that cares about eating healthy food and really wants the best for not only my family, but yours too– I really think you need to see this documentary.

Braised Korean Beef Short Ribs | Relishing It

So, what is ‘Fed Up’ all about?  Basically, it’s an investigation into why we as a society have become morbidly obese over the past few decades.  It follows food fads, big corporations, nefarious political lobbying efforts, the costs to our health and healthcare system, and in the end provides an answer.  The real reason we’ve become so overweight, why childhood diabetes has exploded, why for the first time children will have a lower life expectancy than their parents comes down to… sugar.  Intrigued?  You should be.

Braised Korean Beef Short Ribs | Relishing It

The industry would have you believe that we’ve become overweight because we’re lazy, or that they’re just offering more choices and it’s up to us to make healthy decisions.  But that is a finely-crafted message backed by millions of dollars in advertising and lobbying payouts to politicians.  It’s hard to make the right decision when there is so much misdirection.  It’s hard to make the right choices when we subsidize sugar, rather than whole fruits and vegetables, making processed foods the the affordable option.  The fact is, we’re addicted to sugar– in all of its confusingly-named forms.  And that’s exactly how they want it.  I was stunned to see how hard people try to make the right food choices– to eat healthy– but to be dead-wrong because of the flood of misinformation.  The most heartbreaking part is watching how children suffer because they have no choice in the matter.  The majority of public school lunch programs have been co-opted by corporations like Coca Cola and Pizza Hut, serving up nachos, soda, and sugary tomato paste (which the government counts as a vegetable).

Braised Korean Beef Short Ribs | Relishing It

Yes, I make homemade food from scratch because it tastes better, but I also do it so I know that my family is eating real, nourishing food.  This is why I rarely buy food in packages– most of it is loaded with unnecessary sugar.  And the key here is “unnecessary sugar.”  I cook and bake with sugar.  There’s a place for it in my kitchen.  But at least I know just how much my family is taking in when we sit down to eat a meal.  And yes, my kids still get to eat ice cream, and cookies, and candy.  But it’s in moderation, and balanced by the fact that the majority of their calories come from real food– not the hidden sugar in a box of so-called “healthy” cereal.  There.  I’ve said my peace.  Sometimes it’s good to get things off of one’s chest.  I really do hope you watch this film, think about it, talk about, and share it with others.  It’ll be difficult, but we can get a conversation going in this country and make things happen.  Thanks for listening, friends.

Braised Korean Beef Short Ribs | Relishing It

The Recipe: Braised Korean Beef Short Ribs

(serves 4)

3 pounds of grass-fed beef short ribs

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup chopped white onion

6 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup fresh orange juice and zest from 1 orange

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon gochugaru (korean red chili pepper powder), optional

salt and pepper

olive oil

toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions, for serving

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil a large Dutch oven.  Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper and then brown for a few minutes on each side, or until they become dark brown in color. You may want to brown the ribs in two batches, depending upon the size of your pan.  Use more olive oil, as necessary.

Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, blend the soy sauce, onion, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, rice vinegar, orange juice and zest, sesame oil, and gochugaru until smooth.  Pour the liquid over the browned ribs, cover, and braise for about 2 hours, or until the meat is fork tender and practically falling off of the bones.  If after 2 hours, it doesn’t do that, braise a bit longer.

Feel free to spoon off some of the fat that will rise to the top before eating.  Serve ribs with plenty of sauce, rice, toasted sesame seeds, and green onions.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

 

 

 

 

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Simple Homemade Kimchi | Relishing It

Last week my little blog had an anniversary!  I’ve been occupying this small corner of the internet for three years now.  Goodness time has flown by!  I’m so very thankful for the friends it has brought into my life.  It is such an amazing feeling to find people that share my interests– people that give a damn where their food comes from and believe that it makes a difference.  Making food does more than just nurture my body, it nutures my soul.  Thank you for stopping back week after week to see what I’ve been doing– I am truly grateful.

Homemade Kimchi | Relishing It

Homemade Kimchi | Relishing It

Homemade Kimchi | Relishing It

Homemade Kimchi | Relishing It

I suppose you’re expecting a celebratory cake recipe, but no, today I’m marking the occassion with…kimchi!  You know I’m a sucker for fermented foods (they are so ridiculously healthy for you)– this  homemade sauerkraut gets made ever month in our house.  Kimchi is along the same lines– it’s also lacto-fermented– but it’s made with a different type of cabbage and a couple of other vegetables. The red color comes from a Korean ground red pepper called gochugaru.  It has a wonderful flavor.  Finding gochugaru can be a bit of a hunt, even in a large city.  Definitely check an Asian specialty store.  I found mine at United Noodles in Minneapolis.  You can also order in online at Amazon.  A package will last you awhile, so you won’t have to reorder very often. Kimchi is easy to make and doesn’t take very long to ferment.  It’s as simple is mixing up a flavorful paste with garlic, ginger, and the gochugaru and tossing it with the vegetables.  If you love kimchi, there is absolutely no reason not to make your own.

Simple Homemade Kimchi | Relishing It

Homemade Kimchi | Relishing It

Simple Homemade Kimchi | Relishing It

The big question is, what do you do with kimchi once you’ve made it?  The possibilities are endless, really.  Toss some into a batch of fried rice, throw some into your stir-fry, put it into soups, eat it with dumplings, or straight out of the jar.  I love to eat it on a pizza with spicy ground pork.  It adds that extra “oomph” that some dishes need.  Make it.  You’ll be happy that you did!

Homemade Kimchi | Relishing It

The Recipe: Homemade Kimchi

(makes nearly 2 quarts)

1 /3 cup kosher salt

1 (3 1/2 pound) head napa cabbage, remove core and cut cabbage into 2-inch strips

water

7 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces

12 ounce daikon (white radish) peeled and cut into matchsticks

7 garlic cloves, smashed

3 tablespoons fish sauce (or water, if making vegetarian)

1 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

1 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar

5 tablespoons gochugaru (less to taste)

To prepare the cabbage:  Place the cut cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt.  Massage well so the the cabbage starts to soften and become watery.  Then add enough filtered water to cover the cabbage.  Weigh it down with a plate and then place something heavy on the plate.  Let it stand for 1-2 hours.

Meanwhile, make the red pepper paste.  In a small bowl, add the ginger, garlic, fish sauce, sugar, and gochugaru.  Mix until uniform.  Set aside.

When the cabbage is ready, rinse it with cold water about 3 times.  You want to thoroughly wash the salt off of it.  Then drain in a colander for 15 minutes and gently squeeze out any remaining water.  Return to the bowl that has since been cleaned.  Add the daikon, green onions, and red pepper paste and gently mix with your hands (use gloves, if you want) to coat all of the vegetables.  Pack the kimchi into clean jars and press down until the brine covers the vegetables.  Leave about an 1-inch space at the top of the jars (you will just be shy of 2 quarts for this recipe, so space shouldn’t be an issue).

Let the jars stand at room temperature for 1-5 days ( I generally do 5 days, but it’ll depend upon the temperature of your house).  There may be some bubbling action and you may want to open the jar to release some of the gas, so it doesn’t bubble over and create a mess.  Taste it along the way, when it is fermented to your liking, put it into the refrigerator.  The flavors will continue to enhance when it’s been in the refrigerator for a while.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from The Kitchn

Thanks for stopping by!

Laurie

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