Beef Short Rib Ragu with Gnocchi

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I made this in ‘the gnocchi period’. You know when you make gnocchi once and suddenly this whole world opens up to you, all the combinations to try and how nice to have a new, staple ingredient to work with. If you haven’t already, try frying gnocchi in butter (another recipe for another time) but it is beautiful.

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Ingredients –  Serves 6 – 8

  • 4 beef short ribs (about 400g each)
  • 500ml red wine
  • 4tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions chopped finely
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 litres beef stock
  • 2 400g tins of whole tomatoes
  • About 4 rosemary sprigs
  • 2 fresh bayleaves
  • Finely grated parmesan or pecorino to serve

Begin 1 day ahead. Place beef ribs in a single layer in  a non reactive container so they fit snugly, add wine, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 150°C, heat oil in a casserole dish and remove the ribs from the wine marinade making sure to pat them dry before browning in the casserole – save 250ml of wine as you do so. This takes about 5-10 minutes until they are golden. Once browned, remove them and set aside.

Add the vegetable to the casserole and cook with the tomato paste, stirring occasionally until tender (about 10 minutes). Add the 250ml of reserved wine and cook until reduced by half (about 5 minutes) ensuring to scrape the residue from the bottom as you go.

Add half the stock, 250ml at a time, reducing completely after each addition. This take a fair bit of time (about 10 mins after each addition) but try and be patient. Add the tinned tomatoes, rosemary, bay leaves, remaining stock and ribs, cover and roast in the oven for about 4-6 hours until the meat is falling off the bone.Image

In the meantime, make the gnocchi (recipe coming soon to the blog) or prepare the accompaniment to the ragu.Image

Take out the meat, coarsely shred with forks, discarding bones, rosemary stalks and bay leaves. Put back into the sauce, season to taste and serve over pasta, parsnip puree, mashed potato or gnocchi, as I did.

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