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I have a “book club” with a group of girlfriends that really isn’t a book club – we get together and eat good good and drink wine. Why is it called book club, then? Long story! Last week, we were at a restaurant that has some great short rib dishes. One of my friends ordered a gnocchi dish with bolognese and short rib. It was amazing, which meant I had to try to replicate it at home. I hosted friends on Sunday night for this challenge. Apparently the restaurant has their recipe in various places online, but I didn’t realize that until afterward. My method definitely varies, but this turned out delicious. Friends were going back for seconds and thirds!
I didn’t try homemade gnocchi because I’ve never tried making them before. I was already attempting bolognese for the first time, so I used the refrigerated ones from Wegmans.
Makes 8+ servings
3 lb. gnocchi (about 9 cups cooked)
16 oz. burrata cheese
Grated parmesan cheese
2 lbs beef short ribs (boneless)
1 onion, diced
4 ribs celery, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
½ tsp basil
½ cup red wine
4 cups beef stock
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
1 cup diced pancetta
Vegetables from short rib braising liquid
2 carrots, cut into small pieces
2 celery ribs, cut into small pieces
1 small onion, diced large
1 glove garlic, minced
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp basil
¼ tsp oregano
¼ tsp salt, plus more to taste
1¼ cup red wine
1 cup tomato paste
1 cup beef stock
3 bay leaves
Start with the short ribs. I used my Le Creuset braiser to make these, but a dutch oven would work fine too.
Preheat oven to 325°. Prep onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Place in a bowl, toss with thyme, basil, and oregano and set aside. Preheat braiser or dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Season the short ribs on all sides with salt and pepper. Once the pan is hot, coat it in a little bit of olive oil. Sear the short ribs for 2 minutes per side. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
Add veggies from the bowl to the pan. Saute the veggies, stirring occasionally, until they’ve started to caramelize. Deglaze the pan with the red wine. Return the short ribs to the pan and add the beef stock. The liquid should cover about half of the short ribs. Depending on the size of the pan, you may not need all of the beef stock – you don’t want them to be covered up with too much liquid. Add some water if the short ribs aren’t covered by half.
Move the pan to the oven and cook with the lid on for about 2 hours, until the meat easily comes off of the bone. Cook for an additional 15-20 minutes uncovered, then remove from the oven and let the short ribs rest while you’re making the bolognese.
Place the veggies and herbs (not the ones from the braising liquid) into a blender or food processor and blend into a rough puree. I did this in my Vitamix. Add the veggies from the braising liquid and continue to puree. It will likely still be a bit rough, which is OK.
Preheat a large pot (I used my Le Creuset Dutch Oven) over medium-high heat. Cook the pancetta, then add the veggie mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the water is mostly cooked out of the mixture.
Combine the ground beef and ground pork, the add to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally. Shred the short rib meat and add to the pot. Add tomato paste, wine, and stock. Stir to combine. Bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add bay leaves and simmer for at least an hour. Salt to taste.
Prepare gnocchi according to package instructions. Remove from water immediately and add to pot with sauce.
Serve in a bowl topped with grated parmesan and a scoop of burrata.
Tip for reheating leftovers: Add some water or beef stock before reheating so it isn’t too dry.