Such a versatile meal, this tender, delicious slow cooker Korean beef can also be made in the Instant Pot (or other pressure cooker). The flavor is out of this world delicious!
You might be thinking: what’s Mel doing posting a slow cooker meal when it’s approximately 90 billion degrees outside?
Well, let me tell you, I use my slow cooker more in the summer than I do in the winter. It doesn’t heat up the house like turning on the oven, and as always, it’s the best, no-fuss way to get dinner on the table.
And while I love a good slow cooker meal, I am very particular about what constitutes a “good slow cooker meal.” Just because the title says slow cooker doesn’t mean it’s automatically a winner, know what I mean?
If you’ve made a bad slow cooker meal (I’ve made way too many in my day), you know what I’m talking about. Pasty, mushy, or dry meat. Weird flavors. A potent smell all.day.long that confirms with every passing hour that you’ll never be able to eat what’s inside.
Seriously, there are some bad ones.
But thankfully, there are also some redeeming, great slow cooker meals.
And this slow cooker Korean beef is extremely high on the list of slow cooker meals you should make really, really soon.
Extremely easy to prep, you’re looking at 10 minutes tops before the meat is beginning its flavorful descent into slow cookery.
Because the method and ingredients are so simple, this meal transitions fantastically well to the Instant Pot (or other electric or stovetop pressure cooker).
If doing so, not only are you looking at (still) only 10 minutes prep, but we’re talking 18 minutes max for tender, fall-apart beef smothered in the tasty, tasty sauce.
Throwing in shredded carrots near the end of cooking time lends a delicious crunchy contrast to the slow cooker Korean beef. If you like softer carrots, feel free to add them sooner, but if I can lend a little piece of advice here: crisp-tender carrots are where it’s at.
Down with mushy carrots.
Served atop a bed of hot, cooked rice (quinoa is a wonderful option, too), our favorite side dish option is a simple roasted vegetable and sometimes fresh fruit.
I’ve gotten a slightly weird once or twice and added cottage cheese and sliced cheese to the table alongside this meal before. Cause, you know, we like to keep things super classy and authentic around here.
I hope this slow cooker (or Instant Pot) Korean beef makes its way into your dinner rotation!
Quick note: I’ll be doing another Cooking with Kids Facebook Live this Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. MST. Last week’s FB live was so much fun; thanks for joining us and cooking right along with me and Ty! I’ll be posting additional details soon on Facebook and Instagram about the specific recipe we’ll be making in case you want to cook right along with us (this week, my 9-year old is the one calling the shots).
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Yield: Serves 6-8
Slow Cooker Korean Beef
- 3-4 pounds stew meat (or chuck roast cut into 1-inch cubes)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth (I use low-sodium)
- 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce (regular soy sauce may make this too salty)
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil (toasted or regular)
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (or ginger paste)
- Pinch of red pepper flakes or dash or two of hot sauce (optional)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 10 ounces shredded carrots (I used the bagged kind in the produce aisle – about 1 1/2 cups)
- Sesame seeds and chopped green onions, for garnish
- Hot, cooked rice or quinoa, for serving
- Slow Cooker: place the stew meat in the insert of a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker. In a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the chicken broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, sesame oil, ginger, red pepper flakes or hot sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper.
- Pour the sauce over the meat in the slow cooker, and stir to coat the meat in the sauce mixture. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours.
- With about 30 minutes left of cooking time, whisk together the cornstarch and water. Add the mixture into the slow cooker and stir to combine well. Stir in the carrots. Turn the slow cooker to high and cook another 30 minutes; the sauce will thicken a bit as it cooks.
- Pressure Cooker: place the stew meat in the insert of an electric pressure cooker.
- In a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the chicken broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, sesame oil, ginger, red pepper flakes or hot sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper.
- Pour the sauce over the meat in the pressure cooker, and stir to coat the meat in the sauce mixture. Secure the lid and cook on high pressure for 15-18 minutes (on the Instant Pot, select “manual” and then dial up or down to the allotted time; it will start on it’s own after the time is selected).
- Let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then quick release the rest of the pressure.
- Whisk together the cornstarch and water. Press the “saute” function on the pressure cooker. Add the cornstarch mixture, whisking well. Stir in the carrots. Continue stirring constantly while the mixture bubbles and thickens, 2-3 minutes.
- Serve the meat over hot, cooked rice or quinoa, and garnish with sesame seeds and chopped green onions.
I like the carrots crisp-tender here (read: not mushy), which is why I add them in at the end of cooking. If you like them softer, add them to the slow cooker sooner (or to the Instant Pot at the beginning of the cook time). I think diced green bell peppers would be another delicious addition.
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Recipe Source: adapted from this recipe on Allrecipes
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