What’s for dinner: Korean beef stew with napa cabbage and pickles
Dill pickles and chopped jalapenos give this easy stew its unique, tangy flavor. It also makes good use of napa cabbage, a crinkled, elongated cabbage that’s sweeter than regular cabbage and a main ingredient in kim chi, the national dish of Korea. I couldn’t find fresh mung bean sprouts at my local grocery store, so I substituted canned.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 pounds trimmed beef chuck, cut into 3-inch pieces
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 quart beef stock or low-sodium broth
- 2 medium red onions, quartered through the core
- 6 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 2 large jalapenos, halved, seeded and sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 2 cups mung bean sprouts
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 4 cups coarsely chopped napa (Chinese) cabbage
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced sour dill pickles
- Steamed short-grain rice, toasted sesame oil and 3 thinly sliced scallions, for serving
In a very large skillet, heat vegetable oil. Season meat with salt and pepper and sear pieces over moderately high heat until richly browned all over. Transfer to a large slow cooker, turn it to high and cover.
Wipe out skillet and return to burner. Add soy sauce, sugar, wine and stock and bring to boil. Pour mixture into slow cooker. Add onions, cover and cook for 2 hours. Add garlic and jalapenos to stew, cover and cook for 1 hour longer, until meat is very tender.
Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of water to boil. Add bean sprouts and blanch for 30 seconds; drain. Put cornstarch in a bowl and whisk in 1/2 cup of liquid from the cooker.
With a slotted spoon, remove and discard onions from stew. Transfer meat to a large bowl. Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the stew, cover and let simmer for 2 minutes. With 2 forks, very coarsely shred meat. Return meat to cooker, add cabbage and pickles, cover and let cook until cabbage is wilted, 5 minutes. Turn cooker off.
Spoon steamed rice into bowls. Ladle stew over and around rice. Top with bean sprouts, a drizzle of sesame oil and the sliced scallions and serve.
— “Reinventing the Classics” (Food & Wine Books, 2010, $29.95)