Pressure Cooker Braised Oxtail (Kkorijjim)


Pressure Cooker Braised Oxtail, known as Kkorijjim (꼬리찜) in Korean cuisine, is a classic dish that embodies the rich and hearty flavors of Korean braised dishes. Traditionally, this dish is slow-cooked for hours to achieve tender, fall-off-the-bone meat. However, using a pressure cooker significantly reduces the cooking time while still delivering the same depth of flavor and tenderness. The result is a savory and slightly sweet dish, with the oxtail absorbing all the aromatic goodness of soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and other seasonings. This dish is perfect for those who appreciate the complexity of Korean cuisine and want to enjoy a comforting, home-cooked meal without spending all day in the kitchen.

Note: "Each serving of Pressure Cooker Braised Oxtail provides approximately 450 calories, 30g of protein, 15g of carbohydrates, and 28g of fat. It's also a good source of collagen and essential nutrients."

As a chef with a deep appreciation for traditional Korean cuisine, I've always been fascinated by the art of braising, particularly when it comes to tougher cuts of meat like oxtail. The first time I made Pressure Cooker Braised Oxtail, or Kkorijjim, was during a particularly cold winter evening. I wanted to create something that would not only warm the body but also comfort the soul.

I started with fresh, high-quality oxtail, ensuring each piece was well-marbled. The pressure cooker was a game-changer for this recipe. Traditionally, braising oxtail can take up to several hours, but with the pressure cooker, I knew I could achieve that same level of tenderness in a fraction of the time.

Preparation

I began by thoroughly rinsing the oxtail pieces under cold water to remove any impurities. For an extra step of cleanliness, I briefly blanched them in boiling water. This not only helped to clean the meat further but also started the cooking process, making it easier for the oxtail to absorb the braising liquid later.

Building the Flavor Base

Next, I set my pressure cooker to the sauté function and added a generous amount of sesame oil. As the oil heated up, I added finely chopped onions, minced garlic, and slices of fresh ginger. The kitchen filled with the enticing aroma of these aromatics sizzling away. This step is crucial as it forms the flavor foundation for the dish.

Once the onions were translucent and the garlic and ginger were fragrant, I added the oxtail pieces to the pot. The sound of the meat searing and the smell of it browning was incredibly satisfying. After a few minutes, I poured in soy sauce, sugar, and just enough water to cover the meat. These ingredients would create the rich, savory, and slightly sweet braising liquid that Kkorijjim is known for.

Pressure Cooking

With everything in the pot, I sealed the pressure cooker and set it to high pressure for about 45 minutes. This was the moment of anticipation. Normally, I would be looking at hours of slow braising, but the pressure cooker promised the same results in a fraction of the time.

Adding Vegetables

After the initial cooking time, I carefully released the pressure and opened the lid. The oxtail was already looking incredibly tender, but it wasn’t quite done yet. I added chunks of carrots and potatoes to the pot, which would not only add texture and sweetness but also soak up the flavorful braising liquid. I sealed the lid once more and cooked for an additional 10-15 minutes.

Finishing Touches

Once the pressure cooking was complete, I opened the lid to reveal perfectly braised oxtail, surrounded by tender vegetables in a rich, aromatic broth. The final step was to drizzle a bit of sesame oil over the dish and sprinkle it with sesame seeds for that extra nutty flavor. Chopped green onions added a fresh, bright contrast to the deep, savory flavors of the braise.

Serving and Savoring

I served the Kkorijjim in deep bowls, allowing the oxtail and vegetables to nestle in the flavorful broth. The first bite was a revelation. The meat was so tender it practically melted in my mouth, and the combination of savory, sweet, and slightly nutty flavors was perfectly balanced. Paired with a bowl of steamed rice, it was the ultimate comfort food.

Making Pressure Cooker Braised Oxtail (Kkorijjim) not only provided a delicious meal but also reinforced my love for the techniques and flavors of Korean cooking. It’s a dish that brings warmth and satisfaction, perfect for sharing with family and friends on any occasion.

Pressure Cooker Braised Oxtail (Kkorijjim)


Pressure Cooker Braised Oxtail (Kkorijjim) is a traditional Korean dish that features oxtail pieces braised until tender in a flavorful and aromatic sauce.
Prep Time20 
Cook Time45minutes 
Servings: 4
  


Ingredients


Main Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds oxtail
  • 1/2 medium onion, cut into large chunks
  • 1 to 2 carrots, cut into large chunks
  • 3 to 4 dried shiitake mushrooms, briefly soaked and quartered (omit if unavailable)
Braising Liquid:

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup rice wine or mirin or dry white wine
  • 1/2 medium Korean/Asian pear, grated (or 1 bosc pear or apple)
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey (or more sugar, adjust to taste)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons maesil cheong (Korean plum extract) - optional (reduce sugar or honey by a teaspoon if using and don't want to increase sweetness)
  • Pepper to taste
Additional Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 scallions, roughly chopped (and some finely sliced for optional garnish)
  • Sesame seeds - optional

Instructions

  1. Trim any excess fat from the oxtail pieces. Rinse them thoroughly and let them soak in cold water for 10 to 20 minutes to draw out excess blood. After soaking, drain the water and pat the oxtail pieces dry with paper towels.

  2. Press the “Saute” button on your Instant Pot. Once hot, add 1 tablespoon of canola or vegetable oil. Sear the oxtail pieces in batches, ensuring all sides are browned. Alternatively, you can place the oxtail in the Instant Pot, add 2 cups of water, and cook on the Manual setting for 3 minutes. Quick release the steam, discard the cooking liquid, and rinse both the oxtail pieces and the pot.

  3. Combine all the braising liquid ingredients. Arrange the oxtail pieces in a single layer at the bottom of the pot and pour the braising liquid over them.

  4. Add the prepared vegetables to the pot, distributing them evenly around the oxtail pieces.
  5. Secure the lid of the Instant Pot tightly. Select the “Meat” function and use the “+” button to set the cooking time to 45 minutes (increase to 50 minutes for extra tender meat). Once the cooking time is complete, the Instant Pot will switch to the “Keep Warm” mode automatically. Let the pressure release naturally for about 10 minutes before opening the lid.

  6. Carefully remove the meat and vegetables from the pot. Strain the cooking liquid into a bowl to separate and skim off the fat, using a fat separator if available. If you prefer a thicker sauce, you can reduce it using the Saute function in the Instant Pot. Return the oxtail to the pot, stir in the chopped scallion and sesame oil, and serve with optional garnishes.
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