Thursday, April 5, 2012

Recipe Review: Crockpot Korean Beef Tacos with Cucumber Slaw

I found this amazing-looking taco recipe on Pinterest (no surprise) and couldn't wait to try it for my taco-loving family.

{Confections of a Foodie Bride}
The recipe provided by FoodieBride is a hybrid of two other recipes. I added my own (small) adjustments in blue.

Ingredients

  • For the Korean beef:
  • ~5 lbs beef short ribs (can also use chuck roast or back ribs)
  • 1 bottle (10 oz) low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 Tbsp ginger, grated (I just sliced mine into thin disks that I fished out later)
  • 6 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable or olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp sriracha
  • 1 cup water (optional) (I did not add any water)
  • For the Cucumber Slaw:
  • 1 cucumber (seedless recommended)
  • Thinly sliced red onion rounds 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • crushed red pepper flakes to taste
  • For the tacos:
  • 16 small wheat (flour) tortillas
  • cilantro
  • bean sprouts
  • Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • sriracha

Instructions

  1. To make the cucumber slaw, slice the cucumber very thinly and sprinkle with salt. Place in a colander and let sit for up to an hour over a bowl or in the sink. (I skipped this step.)
  2. Shake additional water from the colander or pat with paper towels.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and toss with red onions, rice vinegar, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Refrigerate until ready to use (leftovers get less and less crunchy as they sit but it can be made ahead, just pour off any accumulated liquid and toss with an additional 1-2 tsp vinegar to taste, if necessary).
  4. To make the Korean beef for the tacos, spray your slow cooker crock with non-stick cooking spray and add the ribs (boneless chuck roast).
  5. Whisk soy sauce, sugar, and vinegar with the garlic, ginger, sriracha, and oils.
  6. Pour over the ribs in the crockpot. (I thought the liquid level looked a little low so I added ~ 1 1/2 cups of water.) Again, I did not add any water.
  7. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  8. (optional) Remove 1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid and skim the fat from the top. Pour the liquid into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer while separating the meat from the bones. Reduce the liquid by about half and pour over the shredded meat. I highly recommend this step!
  9. To assemble, serve the shredded meat on warmed tortillas topped a spoon of cucumber slaw, cilantro, bean sprouts, sriracha and a dollop of yogurt (we used sour cream).

I used two roasts to equal approximately 5 pounds of beef.

I pulled out some cucumber slaw BEFORE adding the
onion and red pepper flakes (for the girls).

I had help shredding the meat.

Don't skip this step! 

I suggest cooking your meat a full 8 hours for this recipe.

Garnishes
The bean sprouts added a nice crunch; the cilantro,
a nice fresh flavor.

She ate two.
Her little sister ate one and a half.
Greg had four.
Papa Mike (visiting from CA) ate four.
I'm not telling how many I consumed!

So pretty too!
 This recipe is going on the "short list" of family favorites!
It's definitely salty--even with the low-sodium soy sauce.
I would use the chuck roast over the ribs again (it's less expensive and you don't have to bother with the bones.

This one's a keeper!
Let me know if you try it.

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