The Holiday Rib Roast Our Senior Editor Swears By

Juicy, tender, and glistening with a whisky-gochujang glaze.

December 18, 2019

We've partnered with The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky—each bottle is made with distinctive character and craftsmanship—to share the many ways we're celebrating the season, from sipping cozy cocktails with friends to whipping up holiday-ready recipes.

If you know Senior Editor Eric Kim, then you know he's a big whisky fan—be it mixed into a cozy cocktail, whisked into no-churn vanilla ice cream, or baked into a blondie.

So it should come as no surprise that when he met this gochujang and whisky-glazed holiday rib roast from chef and restaurateur Esther Choi, he quickly added it to his list of all-time favorites.

The whisky gives the glaze a "really rich, spicy, almost smokiness," Esther says, and the fermented gochujang adds depth of flavor. About three-quarters gets added to the rib roast before popping it in the oven, while the last bit is saved for glazing it at a high temperature about 15 or 20 minutes before its ready to serve. To round out the equation, the whole thing gets served over a bed of yuzu-glazed carrots and crispy roasted potatoes tossed in a mixture of gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes), crumbled seaweed, and red pepper flakes.

"It's easily one of the most delicious things I’ve eaten in a while," says Eric. "On top of it, this recipe is so smart. I love the way Esther’s taken a classic, familiar flavor profile (meat and potatoes) and injected her own Korean-American take on it."

Check out the video above to watch Esther and Eric whip up this winter showstopper in our test kitchen, and get their best tips for pulling it off for your own dinner party.

Have you ever tried cooking with whisky? Tell us in the comments below!

This year, celebrate the Season to Taste. We're teaming up The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky—makers of award-winning bottlings carefully crafted in the Scottish Highlands—to share recipes and traditions from a few of our favorites chefs, bakers, and bartenders. Here, chef and restaurateur Esther Choi shares the recipe for her gochujang-glazed rib roast, aka the showstopping main dish your winter dinner parties have been missing. Perfect for everything from desserts to cocktails, or just sipping neat, The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky is an excellent addition to any bar cart for the holidays and beyond.

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Erin Alexander is the Brand Partnerships Editor at Food52, covering pop culture, travel, foods of the internet, and all things #sponsored. Formerly at Men’s Journal, Men’s Fitness, Us Weekly, and Hearst, she currently lives in New York City.