Korean Braised Pork and Kimchi Quesadilla recipe cooking with cocktail rings

Korean Braised Pork and Kimchi Quesadilla

This post is sponsored by Farmer John. 

The tender, practically melt-in-your-mouth braised pork complements the melty cheese and kimchi in this grown up version of your childhood (or “drunk food”) classic. When the temperatures dip below 60ºF in Los Angeles I go into full braise mode. While the Korean braised pork can be eaten alone I love adding it to quesadillas with a mix of Monterey Jack, sharp Cheddar cheese and kimchi for an added kick. This recipe uses Gochujang in the braised meat; it’s a spicy Korean paste with a subtle sweetness made from fermented chilies.

Pork shoulder is my favorite for braises, coming from the upper portion of the shoulder blade of the pig. This cut of meat is tougher, marbled with fat and connective tissue, and therefore will benefit from long, slow cooking. Because it’s a tougher meat, it is also more reasonably priced. While I break down the large cut of meat into smaller pieces for faster cooking, I still leave the piece with the bone in the braise for added flavor.

Since the recipe makes a lot of meat, I set aside what I don’t use for the quesadillas and turn it into sandwiches or use it to eat by itself in another meal.



For the braised Korean pork:

2 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped

4 ½ pounds Farmer John bone-in pork shoulder, cut into 3” cubes

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

8 cloves garlic, smashed

½ cup gochujang paste, divided

¼ cup soy sauce

1½ cups beef broth

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice


For assembling the quesadilla:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 (8-inch) flour tortillas

1½ cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

½ cup kimchi, roughly chopped



For the braised Korean pork:

Preheat oven to 300ºF.

Heat a 7¼-quart Dutch oven over medium heat, add the oil and heat through. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender and opaque, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Season the pork with salt and pepper. Working in batches, add the pork and sear until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. In a small bowl stir together half of the gochujang and soy sauce. Add the onions back to the pan with garlic, gochujang mixture and the beef stock. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Cover and move to the oven. Cook, stirring every 30 minutes, until the pork is fork tender, about 2 hours.

Use a spoon to skim the oil from the top and discard. Remove the meat from the broth to a large mixing bowl and gently shred the meat, discarding and fatty pieces. Stir in the remaining gochujang and lime juice.


For assembling the quesadilla:

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add one tablespoon of the butter and allow to melt. Add one of the tortillas and evenly top with ½ cup of Monterey Jack cheese, ½ cup of the Cheddar, 1 cup of the shredded meat with sauce and ¼ cup of the kimchi. Top with the other tortilla and cook, flipping once, until the quesadilla is golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.

Remove from the pan and slice into 6 equal slices. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.


Makes 2 (8-inch) quesadillas; serves 2 as an entrée or 4 as an appetizer.


This sponsored post was created in partnership with Farmer John – all opinions expressed are my own.




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