Wow, this weather is crazy lately, no?
Somehow we have escaped the clutches of Winter Storm Draco (raise your hands if your mind immediately went to Harry Potter) here in MN. Hubs and I, unfortunately, will have to charge into the aftermath of the storm tomorrow as we head to Wisconsin to see family for Christmas.
Anyway, in the clutches of cold cold winter, what better to eat than something that has been slowly roasting away in it's own deliciousness all day in the crockpot?
Nothing is better, to answer my own question.
Especially if that something is Korean beef tacos!
Yay Pinterest and finding a great new recipe to celebrate and modernize my mom's cooking!!
I was mostly intrigued because of the cucumber slaw. It's a really simple dish, one that Momma Shin makes pretty often, and one that Hubbles goes a little coo-coo over. He really lurves this cucumber dish.
Along with the added advantage of having a crockpot do most of the work for me, it was time to give it a whirl!
In typical me-fashion, I edited the recipe as I went along. It calls for either short ribs or back ribs. I went with chuck roast, because I've had some spotty luck with roasts, and ribs are 'spensive, yo!
In the morning, all I did was put the sauce together and set the roast going. It said to put in ginger. I did so hesitantly. Not a huge fan of ginger. (It turned out to be delicious, so no worries!)
I was mollified because this is also a garlicky recipe. YAAAAY GARLIC!! Sauce made, dumped over roast in crockpot, set to low, DONE.
This is what I came home to in the evening. OH MY.
The rest of the meal comes together pretty quickly. I started with the cucumber topping. Thanks to Mom, I've some expertise in making this.
Hothouse seedless cukes. Whatever you have on hand is probs fine. I prefer these because I'm not a fan of seeds. Pickling cukes work too, but where do you find them in the winter?
The trick, here, is this. Look carefully. Salt! I sprinkle a generous dose of salt over the sliced cucumbers, toss it evenly, then let it sit for at least 20 minutes. The salt does double duty. It seasons the dish, and draws out a lot of the unnecessary moisture from the cucumbers. Just drain the excess water after 20 min and you're set!
Add the rest of the seasoning: finely minced garlic, hot pepper flakes, sugar, and vinegar.
After that I just made a taco assembly station on the dining room table and we went nuts!
For some freshness and crunch, taco toppings = bean sprouts and cilantro. If you don't like cilantro, then lettuce probably would be fine. I HEART cilantro. Extra cilantro for me. And sriracha for that extra kick. I took a quiz online and discovered that I am 84% addicted to sriracha. Which doesn't surprise me one bit.
Tada!! So delicious. Unctuous beef, and spicy and pickly and crunchy fresh toppings! I had some extra cucumbers on the side. NOM NOM NOM.
It was a mega-hit. I will definitely be duplicating this in the future.
Merry Christmas everyone! My kitty says so too.
Ingredients (for the beef)
- chuck roast, 2-2.5 pounds
- 3/4 cup soy sauce
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1-2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
Combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl, then place roast in crockpot and pour sauce over to coat. Set crockpot on "Low" for 8 hours, or "High" for 4 hours. Try not to stay in the house for the cooking duration, the aromas will drive you nuts.
Ingredients (for toppings)
- 2 hothouse (aka English aka seedless) cucumbers, sliced
- 3 tbsp (approximately) salt
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp vinegar (regular or rice is fine)
- 1 tbsp hot red pepper flakes (I used the Korean extra spicy kind....cuz I like spicy)
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- bean sprouts
- sriracha (optional, cuz I like spicy)
- sprinkle salt over cucumbers in a large bowl and toss to coat evenly. Let sit for 20 minutes, allowing salt to draw moisture out of the cucumbers. Drain excess water.
- Add sugar, vinegar, pepper flakes, and garlic and combine.
- Wash bean sprouts and cilantro, and assemble tacos.