As with most meat, the safest way to thaw beef is in the refrigerator. Small cuts of beef can take up to 24 hours, while larger slabs can take a few days. If you’re in a pinch, frozen beef can be thawed in a bowl or container of lukewarm water. Place the bowl or container in the sink and leave under a running faucet. Never allow raw beef to thaw or sit on a counter or cutting board. Since it takes longer to thaw than most meats, it is more susceptible to bacteria growth.
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In order to effectively freeze beef, you’ll want to limit its exposure to air. This not only prevents the production of freezer burn, but also extends its shelf life to three months or longer. The best way to package beef is to wrap it tightly in freezer paper or plastic wrap. You should then wrap the meat in a layer of aluminum foil or place it in a plastic bag.
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For ground beef, keep refrigerated and use within one to two days. It can stay in its original container if the packaging hasn’t been opened. Steaks follow the same protocol, but can last a bit longer at three to five days. It’s actually best to allow a little airflow with stored meat, as tightly-adhered plastic like Saran wrap can make meat sweat and, as a result, less tender. Meat can be transferred to plastic containers, but should be covered loosely.
Never refrigerate raw meat if it’s been sitting out beyond two hours.
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Raw pork ribs can be refrigerated in their original packaging. The meat typically stays fresh for three to five days, but can last even longer if it remains unopened.
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Overwrap pork ribs in their original packaging with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or freezer paper. Ribs can last from four to six months in the freezer.
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The fastest way to thaw ribs isn't necessarily the best. You can always use the defrost setting on your microwave and determine thawing time based on weight, but this may start to cook the meat. Alternatively, you can place the frozen ribs in a freezer bag and allow them to sit in a bowl of cold water. Continue to replace the cold water every 30 minutes. The most effective and time-consuming option is to place the ribs in the fridge, though a rack may take up for three days to fully thaw. Plan ahead!
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This is Korean barbecue at its best: thin slices of beef short rib marinated and grilled.
What to buy: Korean-style beef short ribs are much thinner than the more common English version. They should only be about 1/4 inch thick, with three rib bones attached. If you can’t find them, other cuts of beef or ribs can be used (cooking times may vary).
Korean malt syrup or mool yut is a very thick and sticky syrup made from ground corn or sprouted barley (or sometimes both) and is used to give sweetness and shine to meat dishes. It can be found in Korean markets or online, but if you can’t find it you can substitute half the amount of barley malt syrup, light corn syrup, honey, or sugar.
Soju is a distilled liquor made from grain or sweet potato and can be found in Asian markets or specialty liquor stores.
Game plan: These ribs are fairly fatty and can cause flare-ups on the grill. Space them at least 1 inch apart (grill in batches if necessary) to prevent grease fires.
This recipe was featured as part of our Korean barbecue menu.