31, Jul 2010
Viet-Korean Karnitas FAIL

Due to certain events, we had a lot of beef to cook in a short time, and so I decided to experiment with combining the technique of carnitas with the flavorings of pho and kalbi. The first step, slow-cooking (or this case pressure-cooking) the beef actually was not a fail and came out delicious and flavorful, if a little salty. But in the second step, I managed to burn the shredded meat to a literal crisp and the whole thing had to be tossed. This may be partly due to the beef I used for this being much leaner than the pork I used for carnitas. Anyway, the plan is to (a) try again and be more careful; (b) try again but use country ribs as with the carnitas; or (c) try again but stop after the pressure cooking to get a braised beef recipe.


2 lb tri-tip roast, cut into 2″ chunks
1 tbsp beef fat, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2″ large ginger root, peeled and minced
1 large shallot, peeled, ends removed, and minced
1/4 c soy sauce
1/4 c fish sauce
1/4 c hoisin sauce
1/4 c rice vinegar
1/4 c water
2 tsp black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
3 stars anise
3 dried red peppers
canola oil


Combine the soy, fish sauce, hoisin, and rice vinegar. Heat the pressure cooker on high. Add a little of the oil and the beef fat. Let heat for 30-60 seconds. Add half the beef and sear on all sides, 1-2 minutes, remove, and repeat with the other half. Reduce heat to medium and add enough oil to saute the garlic, ginger, and shallot in. Saute until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add the water and scrape the bottom of the pot to get off the burned bits. Add about 1/4 of the soy mixture and continue scraping until the bottom of the pot is smooth. Add the rest of the mixture and cook stirring for about 1 minute. Add the meat and the dry spices. Turn heat to high, cover and seal, and bring up to 15lb pressure. Cook for an hour, turn off the heat, and let the pressure dissipate.

After this, put the meat in the oven and burn the bejesus out of it. Throw it out and eat peanut butter for dinner. See the carnitas recipe for actual details.