Slow Cooker Korean Beef Stew with Napa Cabbage and Pickles

Slow Cooker Korean Beef Stew with Napa Cabbage and Pickles

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more than 1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 lbs trimmed beef chuck, cut into 3-inch pieces (we had just over 2.5 lbs and it was more than enough)
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 jalapeños—halved, seeded and sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 cups mung bean sprouts
1 tbsp cornstarch
4 cups coarsely chopped Napa cabbage
1/2 cup Korean Sweet and Sour Pickled Cucumbers
steamed white rice
toasted sesame oil
3 thinly sliced scallions, for garnish


In a large skillet, heat the oil.  Season the meat with s&p and sear the pieces over moderately high heat until richly browned all over.  Transfer the meat to a large slow cooker, turn it to high and cover.

Add the soy sauce, sugar, wine and stock and bring to a boil in the skillet where you cooked the beef.  Pour the mixture into the slow cooker.  Add the onions, cover and cook for 2 hours.  Add the garlic and jalapeños to the stew, cover and cook for 1 hour longer, until the meat is very tender.

Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add the bean sprouts and blanch for 30 seconds.  Put the cornstarch in a bowl and whisk in 1/2 cup of the liquid from the cooker.

With a slotted spoon, pick out and discard the onions.  Transfer the meat to a large bowl.  Whisk the cornstarch mixture, then whisk it into the stew, cover and let simmer for 2 minutes.  With 2 forks, very coarsely shred the meat. Return the meat to the cooker.  Add the napa cabbage and pickles to the cooker, cover and cook until the cabbage is just wilted, about 5 minutes.  Turn the cooker off.

Spoon steamed rice into bowls. Ladle the stew over and around the rice.  Top with the beans sprouts, a drizzle of sesame oil and the sliced scallions and serve.  I recommend serving with kimchi.