Korean Kalbi-Style

  • Sweet, Robust and Complex.

  • Marinade/Sauce Ingredients:

    4 Cups REDUCED SODIUM Soy Sauce  (can't stress that enough, regular soy sauce can overpower your results with salt).
    4 Cups Brown Sugar, packed but not too tight.
    1 Cup Mirin Wine
    1/2 Cup Sake or Rice Cooking Wine (optional)
    2-4 Tablespoons Toasted Sesame Oil

    4 Pears
    2 Apples
    2 small, or 1/2 large onion (onion can also end up being overpowering in the final result).
    1/2 to 3/4  Cup Fresh Grated Ginger OR 1/3 cup fresh expelled ginger juice.
    4 to 6 Cloves Garlic

    Make the Marinade:

    Peel the Apples, Pears, Onion, Garlic and Ginger, cut them up and puree all together in a food processor.

    Depending on your processor you may want to cut really small or even mince the ginger first. If you have a really good juicer you can juice the ginger instead of processing, this could save you a step later but I'd suggest it only if you have a juicer that can really extract _all_ the juice out of the ginger.

    Combine the soy sauce, brown sugar and mirin wine (and optional Sake or Rice Wine) in a large saucepan. Bring to a light boil, reduce heat and stir in the sesame oil. Make sure to dissolve all the brown sugar into the soy sauce, and remove from heat.

    If using the marinade on the same day, PLACE THE SAUCEPAN AND SOY SAUCE MIX IN AN ICE BATH, or put in the freezer. Occasionally stir the marinade and bring the temperature of the soy sauce mixture down to cold. This is very important, you do not want to bring the temperature of the meat up too far when marinating!

    You can also refrigerate the soy sauce mix and place the fruit/onion puree in the freezer overnight, thawing later in the microwave. You should end up with approximately equal amounts of the two mixtures.

    Marinate the Meat

    Clean and dress your meats as you normally do. Thoroughly combine the cold soy sauce and fruit/onion marinade ingredients (making sure to thaw the fruit puree if you had previously frozen it), place meats and marinade mix in a container(s), cover the container(s) and refrigerate for up to three hours or so, turning the meat at least once an hour to help marinate equally.

    Begin BBQ'ing The Meat

    Once the meat has marinated, it's probably a good time to start the pit about thirty minutes ago.
    Remove the meat from the marinade, wiping off excess with your (very clean) fingers or a rubber spatula back into the container(s). RESERVE THE MARINADE, do not throw it away! Add juices dripping from the meat as it sits, back into the marinade until the meat goes on the pit.

    Bring the pit to 265-280 degress (F) and begin cooking the meat, starting out at the hotter end of that range and ending at the cooler end (but ramping up at the very end to caramelize, see next section). Depending on meat thickness it can take 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hours or so, your mileage may vary. Move/rotate meat as needed to adjust for doneness, etc. I place ribs meaty side down for most of the cooking, there's a lot of fat in the back of the rib bones which add flavor and moisture, I like to keep it around as long as possible.

    While the meat cooks, make the sauce:

    Using a spatula, really big spoon or other tool, strain and finally push all of the reserved marinade mix through a regular metal strainer or colander into a saucepan to remove larger solids and the sinewy, flossy ginger fibers while keeping the "pulpy" solids.
    Seriously though, if you don't really mind a bit of ginger floss on your food, the straining step can be skipped but the overall consistency may end up more like "roofin' pookie" as opposed to apple butter :)

    Simmer marinade over medium->low heat, stirring often and being careful not to burn the sauce until the mixture is about 1/3 or less of its original volume (about 30-45 mins) and has turned a dark reddish-brown color with a consistency like apple butter (or "roofin' pookie"). The mixture will get VERY HOT as it thickens, lower the heat as it gets thicker and keep close watch, stirring often with a wood or metal spatula to keep the sauce from burning onto the bottom of the pan

    Cooked slowly and not burned, the sauce ingredients combine and caramelize to create a robust, complex flavor with dark molasses overtones.

    Keep the sauce fairly warm. When the meat has 15-20 mins or so left to cook, paint the meat thick on one side with some of the hot, finished sauce mixture, cook for 8-10 minutes or until the sauce thickens, turn and paint the other side, and cook for 8-10 or so mins more. Remove from the pit when the sauce has thickened on both sides. Allow meat to cool for a few minutes before eating.

    For a Special Treat

    Got a broiler handy? Make Meat Candy!

    After the meat is done heat up the broiler, paint the meat with more of the sauce and broil on one side and then the other until the sauce caramelizes on each side. 
    Watch it like a Hawk! Under the broiler (or over the fire) the sauce can go from Caramelized to Carbonized in seconds! Take the meat out from under the broiler when the sauce starts to bubble and darken, before beginning to carbonize and turn black. This can take 20-30 seconds or even less depending on how close the meat is to fire and how hot it is.

    BE CAREFUL when removing, the freshly caramelized sauce is almost like hot lava, don't touch with bare skin!

    Never Gamble with your Meat® always have a Smokin' Ace® in the hole.™
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