As soon as winter rolls around, I am ready to make short ribs. They are a luxurious meal that can be made healthy with a few simple tricks. In this version, Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs, I use one of my favorite ingredients, Malta. It is a malty, sweet, non-alcoholic beverage that is so popular in the Caribbean. I know, I called the dish Korean Short Ribs not Caribbean Short Ribs. Since I had a 6-pack of Malta in my frig from making Chocolate Malta Chicken Wings, I decided to throw it in with other Korean ingredients.
I had never heard of Malta let alone cooked with it before we had jaw-droppingly, good lamb chops at The Spence in Atlanta. This is Richard Blaise’s restaurant. You might know him from the show Top Chef. My husband and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary there and had the lamb chops. They were sticky, sweet morsels of lamby goodness. We were trying to brainstorm what the ingredient was that was making them so lusciously sticky, sweet. We asked the server and were shocked when he said “Malta”. That next week I bought a 6 pack of Malta and started playing around with it.
A couple of notes about short ribs. There are three cuts you may find at your butcher, English cut which I used here. The English cut has the bone-in (very important for flavor) and the meat tends to sit on top. The bones are separated from each other. Then there is flaken cut. These are cross-cut across several bones and are usually seen in long strips. These are wonderful for grilling. Lastly there are bone-less short ribs. If you can’t find English, get boneless. Since the slow cooker does not add a lot of flavor while cooking, you want the bone in the short ribs, if possible. In a slow cooker, the liquid is not really going to reduce maximizing its flavor.
Please, please, please put the liquid through a fat strainer. This dish will give off a lot of fat. You want to remove as much of it as possible. If you have time, make this the day before. Put it in the refrigerator and scoop off the fat before re-heating it. As with any braising recipe, the flavors are better the day after. This is a dish that will satisfy your heart, soul and stomach. It’s a healthy dish you will look forward to every winter. Bring on the healthy, comfort food.
- 2 lbs. English-cut, beef short ribs, fat trimmed
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 cup sliced onion
- 1 (7 oz.) bottle Malta
- 2 tbsp. Soy sauce
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- ¼ cup Rice wine vinegar
- 1 Asian pear or apple or pear
- ½ cup Beef broth
- 1. Pat ribs dry with a paper towel then sprinkle salt and pepper on all sides.
- 2. Heat a skillet over high heat. When pan is very hot, add short ribs and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes.
- 3. Add the remaining ingredients to a crockpot and stir well.
- 4. Place ribs on top and push into sauce.
- 5. Cook on low for 8 hours.
- 6. Remove short ribs and solids from slow cooker. Pour liquid through a fat strainer and let it sit to separate. Pour the liquid (minus the fat) back into the slow cooker. This is very important. Beef ribs are extremely fatty and you need to get as much of the fat off as you can.
Nutritional value per serving: Cal 207/Fat 9 grams/Carbs 14 grams/Fiber 1 gram/Protein 16 grams
*You can make this dish a day ahead. Put in the refrigerator and scoop off the fat the next day before you re-heat it.