Korean braised beef short ribs with pears (Makgalbijjim막갈비찜)

A wonderful Korean dish that I absolutely LOVE. Serve it with a bowl of clear broth with daikon and steamed rice. It never hurts to have some kimchi and other small side dishes as well!

Although this sounds like a winter dish, the pear marinade gives it a spring-like touch that’s magical. It not only it tenderizes the beef, but it also keep the sauce quite light. I would say that this is a great dish for transitioning from winter to spring.

I used a slow cooker for this dish so that I didn’t have to watch it. I just let it cook until the meat is tender. If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can also do this in the oven at 160℃ for 1.5 hours. It will work just as well.

Serves 4


  • about 1 kg beef short ribs (if possible, choose ribs with smaller bones and trim off excess fat)
  • 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 6-8 garlic cloves
  • 1 thumb-size piece of ginger
  • 2 Chinese pears, peeled and cored and roughly cut into big chunks
  • 5 tbs soy sauce (I used Kikkoman)
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbs toasted sesame seeds

Equipment: slow cooker or regular stovetop

Recipe Preparation

Slow cooker version:

Put all the short ribs into a large pot filled with enough salted water to cover the beef. Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and drain ribs in a sieve, then rinse them in cold water, setting aside to drain.
Put all ingredients except short ribs into food processor and blend until pureed. Add the pureed mixture to large pot and turn heat to medium-high. Once it starts boiling, add ribs and mix well. 
Once mixture is completely boiling, turn heat off and transfer everything into slow cooker. Set on high and cook for 3 hours or until rib meet is falling from bones.

Stovetop version:

If you don’t have a slow cooker, keep the pot on the stovetop and turn heat down to simmer. Turn the ribs and spoon the marinade over them from time to time, just to make sure that the meat is soaked with marinade during cooking.
You will know when it is ready when meat is tender and there is no tension between the meat and bones (about 1.5 hours or until the meat is tender).
Serve with steamed rice and other small side dishes like kimchi.

    Leave a Reply

    %d bloggers like this: