Irish-Inspired Recipes for St. Patrick’s Day

Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s day! No matter your connection to the Emerald Isle, the holiday is a perfect time to celebrate the rustic comfort of Irish food. Try one of our favorite recipes to create the perfect St. Patrick’s day dinner for family or friends. These dishes are inspired by Irish classics, like corned beef and stew, and updated with a gourmet touch.

Irish Recipes

Corned Beef-Spiced Flank Steaks with Braised Cabbage & Buttered Red Potatoes

We’re tipping our hat to the Emerald Isle with this gourmet Irish-American fare. The corned beef and cabbage typically served on St. Patrick’s Day is actually a reinvented Irish dish, modified by immigrants to use local American ingredients. In our version, we’re serving steaks coated in a corned beef-inspired, custom blend of spices.

Lamb, Beef & Mushroom Stew with Parmesan Potatoes & Chives

This dish is inspired by the rich, complex flavor of shepherd’s pie, a hearty meat stew topped with a mashed potato crust. We’re cooking ground lamb and beef with vegetables like mushrooms and celery, plus zesty, aromatic spices like garlic powder, fennel seed and savory. And instead of mashed potatoes, we’re topping our finished stew with thin slices of roasted potato, topped with a bit of nutty parmesan cheese.

Beef Stew & Cheesy Mashed Potatoes with Carrots & Thyme

beef and potato stew

Beat cold weather by filling your bowl with deliciously hearty beef stew. Our flavorful broth (simmered with spices, tomato and beef demi-glace, for exquisite richness) is brimming with beef and carrots, one of our favorite seasonal vegetables. We’re scooping savory, cheddar-infused mashed potatoes right on top, then finishing the stew with a garnish of fresh herbs. 

Shepherd’s Pie with Green Beans & Mushrooms

shepherd's pie

Shepherd’s pie is a classic comfort food. So named for its use of lamb, it consists of a hearty filling baked under a crust of mashed potatoes. We’re making our filling with lamb, beef, green beans and mushrooms, all simmered in a flavorful sauce. And our crust features perfectly-textured Yukon Golds.

Beef & Mushroom Stew with Roasted Potatoes

irish beef stew

This hearty beef stew is flavored with aromatic seasonings, tomato paste, and— for savory-sweetness and a bit of thickness—soy glaze. We’re topping each bowl with red potatoes, sliced and roasted for slightly crispy contrast.

Find more recipes like these in the Blue Apron Cookbook.

A Guide to Compound Butter

compound butter on steak
Herb butter is a decadent topping for steak

What is compound butter? 

‘Compound’ refers to something that is composed of two or more things. Compound butter is simply butter that has one or more mix-ins. These blended butters add delicious flavor to anything they’re paired with, either savory or sweet. 

How to make compound butter

sweet compound butter
Let the butter soften before mixing

To make compound butter, let it soften to room temperature and mash or whip in any desired flavorings. On the savory side, you could add spice blends, herbs, citrus juice or zest, garlic, grated cheese, miso, mustard, and so much more. On the sweet side, opt for sugar, maple syrup, honey, citrus, chopped up candied ginger, marmalade, and more. 

Place the blended butter in parchement paper

Although you can use either salted or unsalted butter, unsalted butter will allow you to control the amount of salt added to the butter. Once the butter has softened, you can mix in your flavorings with a fork or get it really whipped with a hand or stand mixer. When the butter mixture is thoroughly combined, use parchment paper to form the butter into a log, place in a ziploc bag, and refrigerate to harden the butter again. 

And form into a roll

How to use compound butter

Once you have compound butter on hand in the fridge, the possibilities are endless. Savory butters are excellent on all kinds of proteins including steaks, pork chops, fish and shellfish. You can also liven up a side dish with a pat of butter on vegetables, or spread onto rolls and cornbread. Sweet butters will add a special touch to scones, waffles, pancakes and muffins. 

Compound butter kept in the fridge should be used within a week. You can also freeze the butter to make it last longer. 

sweet compound butter on toast

Compound butter recipe ideas

Savory

Some classic combinations for savory butters are garlic and herb butter for steaks or citrus butters for seafood. Could somehow point to the butcher bundles here as options for topping them.

Sweet

You can’t go wrong with a cinnamon sugar butter. You can also make a hot honey butter with honey and hot sauce, or honey and crushed red pepper flakes. Try it on your favorite chicken dish.

Try making your own sweet or savory butter at home to pair with the high-quality proteins in Blue Apron Butcher Bundles.

It’s All About the Bun

There’s no such thing as one best burger bun. It’s just about the bun that’s best for your dinner. Our ideal burger bun varies depending on the situation. Some days we just want a soft bun that fades into the background, but sometimes we want a bun that brings extra flavor and texture to the party. These are four of our favorite burger buns for any occasion. 

Potato Bun

The potato bun is our go-to bun for a simple weeknight burger. This light, pillowy, bread is so soft that it melts in your mouth. A potato bun is simply a delivery mechanism for beef patties. It lets the meat shine, and absorbs and juices without adding a ton of its own flavor. 

White Cheddar Cheeseburgers with Roasted Potato Wedges & Smoky Sour Cream

White Cheddar Cheeseburgers with Roasted Potato Wedges & Smoky Sour Cream

Challah Bun 

When we want to add a bit more flavor and a touch of luxury, we reach for challah buns. Challah buns are made from an egg-enriched dough. This creates a hearty bread with a rich flavor of its own. These buns have enough character to stand next to a beef patty and call themselves equal. 

Mushroom & Swiss Cheeseburgers with Roasted Rosemary Potato Wedges

Mushroom & Swiss Cheeseburgers with Roasted Rosemary Potato Wedges

Pretzel Bun

Traditional pretzel buns get their beautiful color from a quick dip in a mixture of lye and water before baking. This alkaline solution causes a reaction that creates the pretzel flavor you know and love. If you’re looking for a bun that will bring its own personality to your burger, start here. Try adding mustard and onions to a pretzel bun burger for that full German beer garden effect. 

Pretzel Burgers with Hoppy Cheddar Sauce & Roasted Sweet Potato Rounds

Pretzel Burgers with Hoppy Cheddar Sauce & Roasted Sweet Potato Rounds

Ciabatta Roll 

Ciabatta rolls are all about texture. This rustic bread has a thick crust, and a spongy interior. This bun excels at absorbing meat juices. Try a ciabatta bun to transform your burger into a restaurant-level meal experience. 

Trattoria-Style Cheeseburgers with Crispy Rosemary-Garlic Potatoes & Aioli

Trattoria-Style Cheeseburgers with Crispy Rosemary-Garlic Potatoes & Aioli


For a luxurious burger experience delivered to your door, try the Craft Burger from Blue Apron.

All About Chimichurri

What is chimichurri

Chimichurri is a bright green sauce common in Argentine and Uruguayan cuisine. Authentic chimichurri must include fresh herbs, spicy pepper, something acidic, and lots of good olive oil. Our recipe takes this basic principle and adds a slight spin: using mint in addition to cilantro and parsley, and adding lime zest for a fresh bite. It’s super bright, tangy, and has the perfect amount of heat.

How to use chimichurri

Chimichurri is a traditional part of Argentinian barbecue. It goes well with any grilled or roasted meats, but it’s especially delicious on steak. The tangy, herbaceous sauce adds the perfect refreshing contrast to rich beef. If steak isn’t on the menu, this sauce is delicious atop any grilled protein, on vegetable salads, as a dunker for charred bread, or mixed into mayo or yogurt for a creamy condiment. These are a few of our favorite ways to cook with this spicy green sauce. 

Chimichurri Shrimp with Barley, Pepper & Tomatoes

chimichurri shrimp

Seared NY Strip Steaks & Chicken with Chimichurri & Quinoa-Vegetable Salad

chimichurri steak

Queso & Pepper Arepas with Kale-Avocado Salad

vegetarian chimmichurri arepa

How to make chimichurri

Making chimichurri at home is easy. The most important part of this recipe is to finely chop all of your ingredients. The goal here is to create a cohesive, smooth mixture. A little texture is okay, but this is meant to be a sauce, not a salad!

Chimichurri recipe 

Makes 1 cup

Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 20g / ¼ bunch parsley leaves and stems, finely chopped (to yield ⅓ cup)
  • 20g / ¼ bunch cilantro leaves and stems, finely chopped (to yield ⅓ cup)
  • 6g / ¼ packed cup mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, zested
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped shallot
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped
  • ½ cup olive oil

Instructions 

Place all ingredients in a bowl; season with salt and pepper. Stir to thoroughly combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve with grilled meats, salads, or as a dip for charred bread. Chimichurri can also be used as a marinade

This spicy green sauce will turn up the flavor on all of your grilled summer meats. Kick start your next cookout with Blue Apron Butcher Bundles, the easiest way to have high-quality protein delivered right to your door.

3 Tips for the Best Possible Burgers

Burgers are a simple pleasure, but sometimes making them can feel complicated. Even though they don’t have many steps or ingredients, a little technique will go a long way in helping you prepare a delicious burger.

Tips for Cooking Burgers

Tip 1: Dimple the patty. When you begin to cooking a burgers, either on the grill or on a stovetop, the high heat causes the strands of protein to contract. This makes the patty itself shrink and plump up. This is a normal part of the cooking process, but if you’re not careful, it can result in globe-shaped burgers. To prevent your patties from getting too round, just press down lightly in the middle. The goal is to make a dimple in the center of the meat that will fill out when cooked. This way, it’s easier to build a stable burger in the end. 

Preparing the Burger for Cooking - Dimple Process

Tip 2: Mix gently and season well. For the most flavorful burger, season the meat twice. First, season the meat mixture and stir gently to combine. Be sure to not to over-mix; working the meat too much can lead to a tough burger. Just a few stirs to incorporate the seasoning will do the trick. Second, season the outside of the patties after you form them. By seasoning both the outside and inside of the patty you’ll get a burger with a flavorful crust and a tender bite. 

Adding Salt & Pepper to the Burger Patty

Tip 3: Keep the bun handy. Nothing is more disappointing than taking a burger off of the grill and realizing it’s smaller than the buns. To prevent this tragedy, keep the buns nearby while you’re shaping burger patties. Use the shape of the bun as a size-guide, but remember: proteins contract. Make the patties a little bigger than the buns and they’ll shrink down to size. 

Shaping the Burger Patty for Cooking

Ready to try out these techniques? Take your burger experience to the next level with Blue Apron’s elevated craft burger.

How to Braise Anything

Braised Chicken & Smashed Potatoes with Olives, Herbs, & Broccoli

What is braising? 

Before you learn how to braise, let’s figure out what it is. Braising is a slow-cooking method that many home cooks turn to in the fall. It involves searing meat and/or vegetables until they are brown and then cooking slowly over low heat, usually in a Dutch oven or heavy pot. The result is a spoon-tender meal full of rich flavor. 

How to Braise Meat & Other Foods

Use the right cut and the highest quality meat

Tougher cuts of meat make for the best braises. Cuts like brisket and lamb shanks have lots of collagen and fat that will break down during cooking process, giving you a hearty broth. Traditional cuts for braising are typically pretty inexpensive and easy to find. Look for cuts from the shoulder, lower leg, and neck. 

Choose a flavorful braising liquid 

The liquid you choose for your braise depends on what flavor profile you want in your final dish. Usually it will involve some kind of broth or stock, but you can add wine, beer, juice, or condiments like soy sauce and vinegar for more flavor. 

Start with a sear

It’s important to not skip this step of the cooking process. Browning meat and vegetables on all sides before braising is crucial for developing rich flavor. 

Enhance with aromatics

Incorporating aromatic ingredients will add even more flavor and depth to your braise. Try including things like mirepoix (carrots, onion, celery), garlic, and fresh herbs. 

Take it low and slow

This is a cooking process that can’t be rushed. The gentle heat and long cooking time are key to breaking down collagen and fat, and creating extra tender meat.

Pick the best cookware for the job

A Dutch oven or heavy bottomed, oven-safe pot with a tight fitting lid is crucial for a braise. The thick bottom helps achieve a deep initial sear. For the low and slow portion, a Dutch oven will conduct heat evenly while the lid traps in the steam, keeping the moisture inside the pot. 

Refining the braising liquid

For a finished dish that isn’t greasy, you might want to occasionally skim the fat off the top of your braise with a large spoon. You can also choose to reduce the braising liquid into a thicker sauce. To do this just remove the meat when it is done cooking. Strain the braising liquid, return it to the pot, and reduce over medium heat until thick. 

Braising on the stove vs. braising in the oven 

After searing, add the braising liquid and bring it to a boil. From there, you can either transfer the covered pot into the oven, or turn down the heat on the stove to let it gently simmer. There’s no right answer here. If you have a finicky stove top, it may be easier to control the temperature in the oven. The oven provides even heat from all sides, whereas the stove will only heat from the bottom. The stove also requires a stir every once in a while to make sure the food isn’t sticking. No matter which method you choose, it’s still a pretty hands off cooking process, so go with your preference. 

Want to try it out? Get started with this recipe for Braised Chicken Thighs with Caramelized Peppers & Onion over Creamy Polenta.

The Blue Apron Guide to Grilling

how to grill
Char for days

The char of the grill is the signature flavor of summer. Not only is grilling fast and infinitely adaptable, it’s also an evening activity unto itself. The grill is a lovely place to gather outdoors when it’s just too hot to turn on the oven. Of course, even a cooking method commonly considered easy can be a little perplexing sometimes.

Making sure your food is properly cooked is a good place to start. Cooking times vary on the grill. Some items, like shrimp, are done in a flash. To master the art of grilling (almost) any protein check out the Blue Apron guide to grilling meat, featuring a chart grill of times and advice from the Blue Apron test kitchen.

When it comes to the grill, you shouldn’t stop with the main course. Our guide to grilling fruits and vegetables explains why grilling side dishes can actually make dinner preparation easier. It also offers quick advice on cooking times and ideas for what to make with your grilled pineapple, asparagus, and scallions. 

The grill brings a lot of flavor, but it can’t do the work all on its own. Seasoning meats before bringing them to the grill is essential. Rubs and marinades are two popular ways to introduce some spice to your grilled dinner. Check out our guide to rubs and marinades to learn about the best ways to use them, and to find a few recipes to get you started. 

make a marinade
Spiced and flavorful

Of course, not everyone has a grill. For those who are spending more time inside this summer, we have a solution for you, too. Blue Apron’s guide to grilling inside can show you how to get the charred smoky flavor you crave, even if you don’t have a yard. 

Once you’ve mastered grill times and chosen your favorite grilling technique, here are a few recipes to help you flex your new skills. 

Grilling recipes

Grilled Caesar Salad from Henrietta Red 

grilled radishes

Grilled Steak Tacos with Roasted Salsa Verde 

how to grill steak
Steak tacos

Smoky Marinated Eggplant with Herb Salsa from Hyacinth 

grilled eggplant
Charred and ready to eat

Is a Rub or a Marinade Better for Flavorful Grilling?

Marinades and rubs go hand in hand with grilling. Both methods are used to add more flavor to your meal. But what, exactly, is the difference, and how do you know when to do what?

how to make a marinade grilled chicken
Marinated grilled chicken

How to make a marinade 

Marinades are a liquid solution spiked with spices. To marinate a protein, you immerse it in the liquid, and leave it to sit in the refrigerator for an hour or more. The flavors can vary based on your personal preference and the types of herbs, spices or liquids you’re adding to the mix. Marinades typically have an acidic component, like lemon juice or vinegar, that is said to help break down protein molecules and tenderize your meat. However, even with long soaking times, marinades primarily flavor the surface of meat, poultry or seafood. The liquid won’t actually penetrate all the way through. That makes this technique best suited for thin cuts of meat, like skirt steak. 

When marinating, make sure that you have enough liquid to coat your protein, but keep in mind that you can’t use the liquid as a sauce once it has touched raw meat. If you’re hoping to use your marinade on the finished meal, set some aside before using the rest to coat the raw meat. After your protein is done refrigerating, let any extra marinade drip off before placing on the grill. Excess oil and fat can lead to flare ups and uneven temperatures when grilling. 

How to make a rub

A rub is composed of salt, pepper, herbs, and spices. Sometimes sugar enters the mix, but there is not usually a liquid component. Similar to marinades, rubs season the surface of the food, but won’t penetrate all the way through. Unlike marinades, however, rubs don’t require an extended period of resting time to pick up the flavor. Once the rub is on, you’re all set to grill. Rubs make it easier to achieve a nice sear because of their dry nature. In order to sear a marinated piece of meat, you’d have to wait for moisture to completely evaporate. If your rub includes sugar, the caramelization will make achieving a nice crust even easier. Just be sure to keep a close eye on the grill; sugar can go from caramelized to burnt pretty quickly.

Start exploring the world of rubs and marinades with the recipes below. Adding flavor doesn’t have to stop here. After your protein comes off of the grill, adding a sauce can introduce new flavors to the dish. Bright and herbal sauces like chimichurri or salsa verde are a perfect complement to grilled steak and chicken. For a super easy flavor boost, keep it simple and brush store bought barbecue sauce on your cooked meat.

Lemony Tangy Grilled Chicken 

  • 1 Cup Greek yogurt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 lemon 
  • ¼ Cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped 
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika 
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1 Tbsp fresh mint, roughly chopped 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs 
  1. To make the marinade, combine all ingredients except the chicken in a large bowl. Whisk to thoroughly combine. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper on both sides, and add the seasoned chicken to the bowl of marinade. Turn to coat. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. 
  1. Preheat your grill to maintain a temperature of 450-500°F. Oil the grill grates. Grill chicken for 7-8 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. 

Grilled Chicken with All-Purpose Dry Rub

  • 2 tsp paprika 
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin 
  • 1 tsp thyme 
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder 
  • 1 tsp brown sugar 
  • 1lb boneless-skinless chicken breast or thighs 

1. To make the dry rub combine all of the ingredients except chicken in a large bowl,. Mix to thoroughly combine. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season with salt, pepper, and enough dry rub to coat both sides.

2. Preheat your grill to maintain a temperature of 450-500°F. Oil the grill grates. Grill the chicken for 7-8 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. This rub would also work well on beef, pork, or even shrimp.

Find even more grilling tips in the Blue Apron guide to grilling 

How to Grill Inside

For some, summer is grilling season. That’s great in theory, but in practice, not everyone has a grill. Apartment dwellers shouldn’t be left out of the fun just because they don’t have easy access to a yard. Blue Apron Chef Andrew Mumma set out to find the best way to enjoy the flavor of the grill without starting a fire in your home.

grilling inside
Cook in > cook out

Chef Andrew tested out three different methods, but the simplest technique prevailed. An indoor smoker filled his home with smoke, and left foods with a bitter taste that bore little resemblance to the grill. The electric griddle was easier to control, but couldn’t deliver the grill’s signature char or grill marks. After testing, the humble grill pan emerged as the best way to grill indoors, it getting outside just isn’t an option. 

How to use a grill pan

A grill pan is a heavy pan with raised lines that mimic the grates of a grill. It’s used on the stovetop like a traditional skillet. When it comes to grill pans, the heavier the better. With a material like cast iron, not only will you be able to get the pan hotter, it will retain heat better once food is added. 

how to use a grill pan
A staub grill pan

Although it isn’t an exact replica of a grill, a grill pan will help develop a nice char on meat and vegetables. To achieve this, the pan needs to get very hot. Preheat the pan on the stove before adding anything, and don’t be afraid if you start to see some smoke. It’s normal for a grill pan to get very smoky. Just make sure the hood fan is turned up to the highest setting, and an exterior window is open to air things out a bit. 

Use the grill pan for chicken breasts, then slice and serve over rice with barbecue sauce, or alongside a panzanella.

For a vegetarian option brush sliced eggplant with olive oil, and incorporate into a grilled eggplant sandwich or salad

Find even more grilling tips in the Blue Apron guide to grilling 

How to Grill (Almost) Any Type of Protein

When it comes to grilling protein, the most reliable way to tell if your burger or steak is done is to check the internal temperature. Of course, not everyone grills with a spatula in one hand and a thermometer in the other. If you know what to look for, a combination of your senses and a timer should be more than enough to execute a perfectly grilled dinner. Consider this chart the answer to all of your quick grilling questions, covering everything from steak grilling times to how to grill shrimp. 

grilling temperature chart

How to grill steak

The chart above is an excellent guideline, but steak grilling times will vary based on the cut and thickness of the meat, the heat of the grill, and the taste preferences of the grillmaster. If you want to check your steak for doneness without a thermometer, there’s an old-school trick you can use. Press your thumb against your pointer finger like this: 👌. With your opposite hand, feel the fleshy part of your palm at the base of your thumb. It should feel soft and springy. That’s the texture of a rare steak. Now, press your middle finger against your thumb, and feel again. Does your palm feel slightly firmer? That’s medium rare. Repeat this process with your ring finger and pinky to approximate the texture of a medium-well and well-done steak 

For the best possible result, be sure to season your meat generously with salt at least 40 minutes before hitting the grill. You should see the salt start to dissolve, and the surface of the steak will develop a light sheen. If excess moisture has built up on the outside of the steak, make sure to pat dry before placing on the grill. Wet meat won’t achieve the perfect sear you’re hoping for.

how to grill meat, steak
Grilled steak with potato salad

How to grill chicken

From boneless skinless breasts to whole birds, chicken is a great choice for the grill. Unlike beef, where there is some accounting for taste, it’s essential that chicken be cooked completely through. If you’re not sure if the meat is done, cut into a piece. If the chicken is completely cooked, the center should be opaque and white, and the juices flowing out should be clear. 

Before you introduce the chicken to the grill, season it thoroughly with salt and pepper or a rub of your choice. Whether you’re using gas or charcoal, preheat the grill for at least 15 minutes. Grill your chicken over the hottest part of the grill, flipping halfway through. Follow the guidelines above to find grill times for chicken breasts and thighs. Once you’ve mastered those, perhaps it’s time to move on to something more ambitious, like a spatchcoked whole bird

How to grill pork chops

Grilled pork chops can be elegant, rustic, or somewhere in between. The one thing they should never be is dry. To achieve a caramelized exterior and a juicy interior, don’t be afraid to leave those chops alone. After heating the grill, place the pork chops over high heat and don’t touch them. Flip after 3-4 minutes, and then step away again. After another 3-4 minutes, pull them off the grill, let them rest, and enjoy. If you were to flip the chops multiple times, it would take longer to achieve browning on the exterior of the meat, increasing the likelihood that the center would be overcooked.  

How to grill shrimp 

One of the most beautiful things about grilling shrimp is the sheer speed. Just 2-3 minutes per side, and dinner is ready. Of course, shrimp are small, and you don’t want to risk losing one through the grill grates. Grilling shrimp will be easier if you keep them together either in a grill basket or with skewers. If using wooden skewers, just be sure to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes to reduce the chance of them catching on fire. Watch your shrimp closely. When they’re nicely plump and opaque, pull them off and enjoy. 

how to grill meat, shrimp
Grilled shrimp on skewers

How long to rest meat 

No matter what protein you’re working with, be sure to give it time to rest after you take it off of the grill. Leaving your meat alone for just five minutes before cutting into it will allow the juices to redistribute, guaranteeing you a moist flavorful meal. 

Find even more grilling tips in the Blue Apron guide to grilling 

Make Galbi: Marinated Short Ribs That Are Sweet, Smoky, and Craveable

Blue Apron is teaming up with chefs across the country to support Feeding America®. To participate, head over to our social media channels. Share our Facebook post or tag a friend on Instagram, and Blue Apron will donate an additional $5 to Feeding America, up to $50,000. Thanks to chef Yong Shin for sharing Insa’s recipe for Galbi, a classic Korean barbecue preparation of short ribs.

Korean short ribs
Galbi ready for the grill

There’s more than one type of night to be had at Insa. You can feast on mandu in the darkly lit bar, sit around a tabletop grill in the party-filled dining area, or even grab a drink in one of the private karaoke rooms. No matter which option you choose, you can’t go wrong. The food is delicious, and the vibe is inviting and glamorous at the same time. 

It might be difficult to recreate this exact atmosphere at home, but now you can make your own version of Chef Yong Shin’s marinated short ribs, a traditional Korean dish known as galbi. You can typically find galbi pre-fabricated at your local Korean supermarket, but it’s easy to prepare them yourself. If it’s available, grilling is the best way to get some char, and caramelize the sweet marinade. Chef Shin recommends cooking the meat to medium, as short ribs can get chewy when undercooked. 

Galbi (Soy Marinated Short Ribs)

Serves 4-6 People

  • 2 Pounds beef short ribs, sliced ¼” thick
  • 1 ½ Cups water
  • 1 Cup soy sauce
  • 1 Asian pear, peeled, cored & grated (about 1 cup) (see note)*
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Onion, grated (about 1 Cup)
  • 1/4 Cup ginger, peeled & grated
  • 1/4 Cup garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsps kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsps canola oil

1. Combine all ingredients (except the short ribs) in a bowl and whisk until the sugar has completely dissolved. Combine this mixture with the short ribs in a nonreactive container or a ziplock bag. Cover, refrigerate, and leave the ribs to marinate for at least 2 days. If you want to eat them sooner, use a knife to score the meat in a cross hatch pattern. This will help the meat tenderize more quickly.

2. Before cooking, rest the meat at room temperature for at least an hour. Heat a grill to high, or place a heavy bottom skillet over high heat. If using a skillet, coat the bottom with a little oil, just barely enough to cover the surface. Once the oil is smoking, add enough meat to form a single layer without crowding the pan. 

3. Cook the meat until it’s charred on one side, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook another minute or two, to your preferred doneness. 

4. Allow the meat to rest for at least 5 minutes. Slice into bite-sized pieces and serve with rice, lettuce, and kimchi.

*If Asian pear is not available, canned pineapple juice is a fun alternative. Chef Shin’s Mom would use this in marinades for meats, including pork and lamb. The enzymes in pineapple (or kiwi, or papaya) help break down proteins for a tender final product.

“Quick” Kimchi

Yields approximately 2 quarts

  • 1 Large Napa cabbage (at least 3 pounds)
  • 3/4 Cup kosher salt
  • 1 Cup gochugaru (coarse Korean chili flakes)
  • 3 Tbsps ginger, peeled & minced
  • 3 Tbsps garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsps sugar
  • 2 Tbsps salted shrimp (optional, but recommended)
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Bunch scallions, cut into 2” pieces

1. Quarter the napa cabbage, removing any loose outer leaves, and slice horizontally into 2” strips. Cut the bottom root off and discard. 

2. Wash the cabbage in a deep container of water and drain well. In your largest mixing bowl, rub salt into the cabbage and toss until it’s thoroughly coated. Allow it to sit for 3 hours, tossing every hour. A lot of water will be expelled from the cabbage. 

3. Rinse the cabbage and drain thoroughly. Taste the cabbage. It should be well seasoned, meaning it will taste good on its own. 

4. Place the rest of the ingredients in a mixing bowl with the wilted cabbage. Mix everything together until the cabbage is thoroughly coated with seasoning. Taste the kimchi and adjust it to your liking. Want more funk? Add more fish sauce. Want it a little sweeter? Try more sugar. 

5. Eat immediately or keep in the fridge. To store, place the kimchi in a large nonreactive container, like a glass bowl with a lid, or a plastic storage container, and press down to remove any air between the leaves. This kimchi is best eaten within 2 weeks.

A Guide to Grocery Store Sausage

Hot Italian sausage and cavatelli
Hot Italian sausage and orecchiette

Sausage is a magical food. It exists in dozens of forms, across cultures, and is filled with a variety of spices. There are so many types and flavors that it becomes hard to define what exactly qualifies as sausage. It can be a link or a patty, smoked or dried, pork, beef, or even seafood. 

With all of these available options, it’s easy to descend into panic in the meat aisle when faced with a recipe that just calls for sausage. Consider this guide your helpful grocery store companion. It will teach you the difference between kielbasa and salami, and help you figure out what to toss on top of a pizza. 

Fresh

Plump in appearance and pale in color, these sausages are made of uncooked seasoned ground meat and spices. They’re packaged in casings, sometimes all linked together like cartoon sausages. There are usually several varieties of fresh sausage available at a supermarket, including hot Italian sausage, sweet Italian sausage, and breakfast sausage. These three types are all pork sausage, and are distinguished primarily by their spices. Generally, hot and sweet Italian sausage can be substituted for one another, but breakfast sausage is an entirely different flavor profile. It’s important to remember that these sausages are raw, so they require a longer cooking time than their pre-cooked counterparts (more on that below). Grill them whole and slice them up, or remove them from the casing while still raw, sauté the meat, and toss into soups or on a pizza.

browning loose sausage
Browning meat

Pre-cooked 

These often have a smooth, more uniform texture than fresh whole sausages. This texture comes from the meat itself, which has been finely processed or pureed before cooking. Examples include the beloved hot dog, bologna, and mortadella. Precooked sausages will be more opaque and firmer to the touch; if you can’t tell if a sausage has been precooked, read the label closely or ask a store employee, preferably someone working at the meat counter. Pre-cooked sausages are technically safe to eat right out of the package, but heating them will bring out their best flavors. They can be grilled, pan-fried, or boiled. The larger versions, like bologna, are a staple in deli and lunch meat counters, while the smaller options are popular with home cooks. Their short preparation time makes them an easy way to bulk up a weeknight dinner.  

Cured 

Cured sausages are salted and dried in cool conditions. Over time, the salt draws out the moisture and effectively “cooks” the meat, although heat is never applied. Salami, saucisson, sopressata, and pepperoni are all cured sausages. They’re perfect to slice up and serve on a charcuterie board, tuck into sandwiches, or even slice and toss into a hearty salad. Even though they don’t need to be cooked, applying heat to a cured sausage will render the fat, and give them a wonderfully crunchy texture. This transformation is what makes the crispy pepperoni on top of a pizza so delicious. 

Smoked 

For smoked sausages the meat is ground, packed, and hung to dry in a smoker or smokehouse where there is a low, cool fire. The meat is preserved by time, salt, and smoke, but not cooked by the heat of the fire. The smoke not only preserves the meat, but also flavors it; think of rich sweet kielbasa or smoky lap cheong. Smoked sausage also doesn’t need to be cooked, but warming it to room temperature or above will bring out its best flavors. Grilling it can add another dimension of charred flavor. Smoked sausages can be served on their own or sliced and added to other foods like soups or stews. These sausages are commonly found at deli counters.

smoked sausage
Mmm, smoky

Loose 

Just because it’s not in a casing, doesn’t mean it’s not a sausage. Basically, any flavored and ground meat qualifies. Loose sausage can be formed into patties and fried, or broken up and sautéed. This top-rated Blue Apron recipe uses loose hot Italian sausage to spice up a pasta dish for a satisfying weeknight dinner. 

Ground pork 

Ok, ground pork is technically not a sausage…yet. That being said, if you’re in a grocery store on the hunt for fresh sausage, ground pork would be a better substitution than something smoked or pre-cooked. Once you have the ground meat at home, you can spice it up yourself. Empty the meat into a large bowl, and assemble some spices. For a classic sweet Italian sausage try cracked black pepper, minced garlic, whole fennel seed, salt, and chopped parsley. Before you cook up the whole batch, place a quarter-sized amount in a frying pan. Flip once, make sure it’s cooked through, and then give it a taste. Not only is that the best way to check the seasoning of homemade sausage, it’s also a fun little treat for the chef.