Monday, November 7, 2011

Slow Cooking Supper: Crockpot Korean Tacos

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I haven't documented much of my life in the North End since we've moved here.  In part, it is because John and his crutches don't make it very far.  But also in part because I am really relishing this life while I have it.  But then I made these tacos from My Life as a Mrs., a blog that I love (and bookmark basically daily).  And, I knew it was time to share some of this life with you all.  I love living in a city.  I love its vibrancy, its life, its energy, and I feed off of it. 

But living in the North End (the "Little Italy" of Boston, if you will), it is like living in a neighborhood.  A real and true neighborhood.  There is Mike, an elderly resident who lives the street over.  He often sat outside in the nicer weather and one day I helped him with a package.  We talk now all the time.  He has lived in the same rowhouse for over 40 years.  When every other rowhouse around him is turning into apartments for the yuppies (including myself), he has a whole house.  I keep wondering if or when he will invite me inside!  And I hope that it stays a single home for another 40 years. 

There is my no-name friend and his wife Maria.  He sits outside with his lawnchair right on the street.  I introduced myself my first day here and he never reciprocated his name.  He just said, Danielle, if you ever need ANYTHING, anything at all, you come knock on my door.  I will get it done for you.  He reminds me of my granfather who passed away when I was just in high school.  The butcher where I bought these ribs is the butcher I walk past every day on my walk to work.  He watches for me to walk by the window now, waving, and always greets me by name.  I love waving to him as a I walk by.  In the crowded section of town--it makes me a local, not a tourist--and I love that feeling. 

I really, truly, feel like I belong here.  That I was made to be here.  My dad is Italian (obvious from my last name) and when I introduce myself people always nod, smile, and immediately induct me into their club.  It has been a goal of mine to live here for years.  And I'm so glad that goal has been accomplished.  I never knew you could feel like you lived in a small town in the midst of a big city, but you can, and I do.  Buying from the local merchants who carefully select their products, it makes you feel good.  And I think these tacos taste all the better for it.
Crockpot Korean Tacos (adapted from here)
Serves:  4
Cucumber Slaw:
1 seedless cucumber
4 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Beef Tacos:
1 1/2 cups low sodium soy sauce
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup minced garlic
3 tablespoons grated ginger
6 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 teaspoons red pepper flakes
4 pounds short ribs
8 burrito-sized tortillas
cilantro (as desired)
Sriracha (as desired)

Make the slaw:  Thinly slice the cucumbers.  In a small bowl, mix together the rice vinegar, sugar, salt, and red pepper flakes.  Toss with cucumbers.  Set in the fridge until ready to serve.
In the crockpot, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes.  Add the short ribs so they are fully covered and turn the crockpot to low.  Cook 6-8 hours until the rib bones come out cleanly.  Remove the meat from the crockpot and shred.  Toss with 1/4 cup of juices in the crockpot to keep the meat moist. 
Make the tacos by placing some of the beef in each tortilla.  Top with cucumber slaw, cilantro, and sriracha (if desired).  Serve immediately.

John loved these tacos and they were a big hit.  They were equally good the next day for lunches, which is always great for us.  Of course, now I have a ton of sriracha which means I am on the look-out for recipes!  Feel free to share some!

Until the next time my oven is on...

5 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh Danielle, these tacos sound so good. I loved your allowing us a glimpse into your wonderful neighborbood. It sounds just charming.

    I hate to admit it but I haven't gotten around to opening the book yet but I hope to this weekend. Thanks again for loaning it to me.

    ReplyDelete

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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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