Tuesday, May 10, 2011

G.G. cooks Gourmet Traveller's Gnocci with short rib ragu

At the start of the year I made a resolution to host more dinner parties. I haven't really lived up to that ideal so far, but am trying to ensure it does happen in the second half of the year. Oh my. The second half of the year. Can you believe that we are almost there? I'm a little scared about how my life seems to be flying by. Weekends are booked out for months, and now the weeknights are looking pretty full too. Anyway, tonight we are just having C's friend over, next time I will invite a few extras but we have been meaning to have Tim for some time, so tonight is the night.

I know it's not good form to serve something you have never made before to a guest, but I have a little secret to admit- I do ALL the time. I don't know what comes over me, I somehow think it's a good idea at the time and then spend the rest of the day stressing out about it. Tonight's meal will be no exception. I was browsing through the latest version of the Gourmet Trav and saw gnocci with short rib ragu- the perfect wintery dish. It has to be slow cooked so I thought I could get up early, do all the prep and pop it in the slow cooker to simmer away for hours breaking down the chuck steak (couldn't get short beef ribs anywhere) and immersing it with the wonderful rich tomato and red wine flavours. I was going to make fresh gnocci, but I'm pretty sure I'll be over it by the time I get home and will just pop across to get some fresh made by someone else gnocci.

To serve with, I'm thinking some artichoke, parmesan and rocket salad and some crusty home made garlicky bread. Thoughts? I'm really into this whole slow cooker thing - love having things ready for dinner when you get home especially when you have guests over, because it means you get to relax and spend time talking rather than being in the kitchen all evening. Ragu was an obvious choice, just because I love it.

It seems that other people are a real fan of ragu too, because when I asked for recipes on twitter, people were very forthcoming with responses and I'm being emailed a new chicken ragu recipe and I picked up some inspiration some more decadent ragu. Obviously my dinner isn't ready yet, so I can't show you a photo, but I'm going to put the recipe up now and give you some piccys later.

In the meantime, tell me, what are your favourite slow cooker recipes? I would love to feature some in the lead up to winter- so email them to me at gastronomygal[AT]gmail.com

This recipe is from the May 2011 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

Gnocci with short rib ragu
Serves 8

IngredientsCooking Time Prep time 25 mins, cook 6 hrs 45 mins (plus marinating)
4 beef short ribs (about 400gm each)
500 ml red wine
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 each carrot and celery stalk, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 litres (8 cups) beef stock
800 gm canned whole tomatoes
4 rosemary sprigs
1 fresh bay leaf

To serve: finely grated pecorino pepato
To serve: 1 quantity gnocchi

1 Place beef ribs in a single layer in a non-reactive container that fits ribs snugly, add wine, cover and refrigerate overnight.

2 Preheat oven to 150C. Heat oil in a casserole over medium heat, remove ribs from wine (reserve 250ml), pat dry on absorbent paper and cook, turning occasionally, until golden (5-7 minutes). Remove ribs and set aside, reduce heat to low, add vegetables and tomato paste and stir occasionally until tender (12-15 minutes). Add reserved red wine and cook until reduced by half (5-7 minutes), scraping residue as you go, then add half the stock one cup at a time, reducing completely after each addition (10-12 minutes). Add tomato, rosemary, bay leaf, remaining stock and ribs, cover and roast in the oven, turning ribs occasionally, until meat is falling from the bone (4-6 hours). Coarsely shred meat with a fork (discard bones and rosemary stalks), season to taste and serve tossed with gnocchi and scattered with pecorino pepato.

10 fabulous comments:

Alibongo said...

I always cook things for the first time for guests also - who has time for a practise run first? Thats the fun of having people over - trying new recipes!!

The InTolerant Chef said...

I love dinner parties too, always a great time to get stuck into the kitchen and try something new.
This week I'm slow braising short ribs in rum and coke. Yummm... It's the weather for something stick-to-the-ribs isn't it, especially in Canberra!

Mrs BC said...

Thanks for this recipe, can't wait to hear how it turns out. My Sicilian friend has been promising me her family recipe for pasta sauce using slow cooked short ribs, but somehow always conveniently forgets...
This looks great!

Nic@diningwithastud said...

Love the slow cooker too! Its so easy and on those wintery days when you get a small burst of evergy in the morning but want to bum around for the rest of the day, its perfect!
I just did a curry in the slow cooker and it turned out fab. Im cooking it again for friends next weekend.
Def going to give yours a go too. Cant wait for the pics :)

jenius said...

I love pulling out slow cooker recipes when hosting dinners. Nothing better than having food prepared beforehand so you can really enjoy the company!

Jayson James said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe.

It looks fabulous and nothing beats a dinner party shared with close friends. How I wish my girlfriend can pull this off. Thanks again!

mademoiselle délicieuse said...

I don't own a slow-cooker but I do serve pre-cooked stews/casseroles in winter - because they work best, as you said, when slow cooked! No guilt at all =D

rhubarbwhine said...

Looks really good. I adore this type of cookingand am going to trythis, as well. Hope you are well GG - long time no see x

miss morag said...

Any piccies please GG? Sounds wonderfully hearty, and I bet your guests lapped it up? I'm loving my slow-cooker too. I'm about to poke lots of garlic & rosemary into a whole lamb roast and pop that in the slow cooker today.

Kitchen Butterfly said...

This is the 3rd short rib ragu I've come across in a week. First there was a winning entry on food52.com, then I saw Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro in 2 greedy Italians make a Sunday afternoon lunch and now here. This is a sign....from heaven, especially as my husband looked on longingly when we watched it on TV. Thanks....

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