Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Beef Short Ribs and Ricotta Cheese Gnocchi with Mushrooms

 I really like pork ribs.  They are a common food in my house, made in the slow cooker.  I like using my slow cooker because the house smells so good when I get home, and because it's easy and I'm both busy and lazy.  That being said, I don't think I care for beef ribs as much.  At least these beef ribs were much fattier than I prefer.  Jeff liked them though, so maybe it's just me.  Anyway, if I made this again I would use pork ribs. The gnocchi came out quite well, though, and I've never made that before either!  I expected the gnocchi and sauce to both be heavy, and I was concerned because the beef is pretty heavy too.  It all was, so this might not make a great middle of summer meal... but the gnocchi wasn't as heavy as I thought it would be.  If I had chicken stock and had used that in the sauce, and maybe added some more vegetables, the gnocchi easily could have been served in the summer.  I also probably won't used freshly ground pepper next time, because I thought it was very noticeable in the gnocchi and wrecked the texture a little.  Maybe it should just be added at the end in the sauce.

Slow Cooked Beef Ribs with Dried Fruit

3 lbs (approximately) Beef Short Ribs - bone in
Salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, minced
1 large carrot, chopped
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup dried fruit, chopped
Olive Oil

Season beef ribs with salt, pepper, garlic, and onion powder.  Heat up oil in a large pan and sear ribs in batches to avoid overcrowding until they are brown on all sides.  Transfer to a large slow cooker.

In the same large pan, saute onions, garlic and carrots, adding more oil if necessary, until onions are lightly browned.  Season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to slow cooker

Add orange juice and wine to pan to deglaze.  Add dried fruit to crock pot and pour liquid over the top.  Cook on low for 10-11 hours.

Ricotta Cheese Gnocchi with Mushrooms, modified from epicurious.com:
  • 1 pound (about 2 1/4 cups) fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lb assorted mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup red onion
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • splash heavy cream
 Place ricotta in strainer set over medium bowl. Chill until ricotta has texture of wet clay, about 1 hour.
Mix ricotta, 1/2 cup flour, egg, and next 5 ingredients in medium bowl, adding more flour by tablespoonfuls until dough is slightly sticky (the recipe specifically said do not add more than 4 tablespoonfuls.  After 4 tablespoons, it was still very sticky.  I added a lot more flour in the rolling process). Cover and chill 30 minutes.

Sprinkle rimmed baking sheet generously with flour. Transfer dough to lightly floured surface. Cut into 4 equal pieces. Using hands, roll 1 piece on floured surface into 3/4-inch-wide log. Cut log crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Place gnocchi on prepared baking sheet, spacing apart. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover gnocchi with plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

Cook gnocchi in salted boiling water.  Meanwhile saute garlic, onions, and mushrooms in a large pan.  Once the mushrooms have released their liquid and most of it has evaporated, add wine and butter.  As the gnocchi begin to float to the top of the water, fish them out and add them to the sauce.  Here, I found myself adding more gnocchi to the pot as fast as I was fishing them out.  They do a good job of staying near the bottom of the pan and not sticking together until they are cooked, at which time they float to the top.

Once all the gnocchi has been added to the mushrooms, add the cream and allow to cook until everything is nicely incorporated and the gnocchi is covered with the sauce.


  1. Hmm...orange juice and dried fruit. That is interesting, I have never tried that with short ribs before. Sounds yummy!!!!

  2. Thanks, Ellie. It was yummy. I love dried fruit and meat together. Just make sure that the ribs aren't too fatty. It destroyed the texture for me. The flavor was there, but I just wasn't happy biting into them!