Asian Beef Short-Rib Lettuce Wraps

The first time I had beef short ribs, they were prepared in a manner similar to this. These deep Asian flavors mixed with the spicy, cool bite from the slaw is still my favorite way to eat them. If your short ribs aren’t so meaty, throw in a couple of extra ribs so you’ll have enough meat to go around. (And save those bones to make beef stock later!)

Prep time 20 minutes
Serves 6

For the wraps:

4 to 5 pounds (1.8 to 2.3 kg) meaty beef short ribs
Sea salt and black pepper
2-inch (5 cm) knob of fresh ginger, minced
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup (120 ml) coconut aminos
1/2 cup (120 ml) rice vinegar
3 tablespoons (45 ml) sesame oil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/3 cup (115 g) honey
1/2 lime
2 heads butter lettuce or baby Romaine, trimmed and leaves separated

For the slaw:

1 English cucumber, julienned
1 large carrot, julienned or grated
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup (60 ml) rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon honey

1 Sprinkle the short ribs generously with sea salt and black pepper. Place in a 4- or 6-quart (3.8 or 5.7 liter) slow cooker.
2 Combine ginger, garlic, aminos, vinegar, sesame oil, pepper flakes, and honey in a small bowl. Mix well and pour over the short ribs. Cover and cook on low heat for 9 to 10 hours (or on high for 4 to 5 hours).
3 Meanwhile, combine the cucumber, carrot, green onion, and cilantro in a medium bowl. Whisk together the vinegar, pepper flakes, salt, and honey in a small bowl and pour over the slaw vegetables. Toss to combine. If you aren’t using this right away, cover the bowl and chill until you are ready to use it. For best results, let it sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to combine.
4 When the meat pulls off of the ribs easily, remove them from the slow cooker. Use a slotted spoon to remove bits and pieces of undesirables from the pot. Remove meat from the ribs; discard the bones and return the meat to the pot with the strained juices. Taste the meat, and add more salt if necessary. Squeeze the juice from the lime over the meat.
5 Serve the shredded meat inside of lettuce leaves and top with the slaw.