Day 13 - Braised Beef Short Ribs over Homemade Gnocchi

Hello all!  Catch up on my 31 Day Challenge here!

Our favorite restaurant is Paisano's in our town…they have the best homemade italian food - pasta and everything in between.  Everything is homemade.  Greg's favorite dish from Paisano's is Braised Short Ribs over homemade gnocchi - I am trying to re-create that dish (and it will most likely take MULTIPLE tries)…but this dish is the attempt at re-creating Greg's favorite.  

1st…let's go through the Braised Beef Short Ribs

I'm going to start by saying that we didn't use ACTUAL Short Ribs…our store didn't have them - but we used the closest thing TO short ribs that we could find.  

Ingredients (Braised Beef Short Ribs)
4-5 pounds of beef short ribs
1 chopped onion
5 cloves of garlic - finely minced
1/2 cup white wine
1 32 ounce box of Beef Stock
14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes
Various Spices to taste (Badia Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, Onion Salt, Thyme, etc)
Note: Badia Chili Powder is not as spicy as other chili powder - don't think that it's interchangeable…
Optional: 8 gloves of garlic (minced), 14.5 ounce can of crushed tomatoes.

Instructions FIRST…you take all of the meat, and GENEROUSLY season with salt and pepper.  Make sure it's coated and seasoned quite well.

Then, take a sauté pan and coat the bottom with olive oil.  Get the pan HOT, and sear each side of the meat on all sides - make sure it's all browned - you're going to want to sear everything in.  You'll most likely need to do this in batches (I needed to). 

When each batch is done, layer them in the crock pot (yes, you'll be using a crock pot)…and place HALF of the container of beef broth in the bottom of the CrockPot. 

Once you're done browning the meat, use that SAME pan you used to sear your meat to sauté your onions and garlic. 

This will start to smell friggin' amazing…I wish this picture had a "scratch and sniff" feature - because, guys, this picture doesn't do the smell justice at all.  

Once your onions are a little translucent, you're going to want to deglaze your pan with a 1/2 cup of white wine. 

Then, add the entire can of diced tomatoes (including the juices), as well as the remaining half of the box of beef stock. You're going to want the mixture to re-heat all the way through, and simmer for about 10 minutes. 

Then, add this onion/tomato/beefstock/wine mixture, along with any of your preferred spices (see my list above) to the top of the crock pot. 

Now comes the difficult part - put this on HIGH in the crock pot for 6 hours.  And don't touch it.  I MEAN IT. Don't touch it!!!

Once that's done, take the meat out, and put it on a plate to rest for a little bit.  At this point, it helps to have an assistant (Greg - yay!!) to skillfully skim off the fat from the CrockPot and discard it.  You'll want to leave the delicious sauce in the CrockPot…for now. 

Once the meat has rested for a little bit, you'll want to take all the meat off the bones, and "shred" it…this should happen automatically if it's cooked properly…
*If the meat doesn't fall of the bone, and pretty much shred itself, you're going to want to throw it back in the CrockPot for another hour on high.

Take the meat, and put it into a shallow pan, and put it in the oven at 200 (just to keep it warm).  

Then…go back to your sauce…take the sauce from the CrockPot, and put it in a small stock pot to reduce.  Once I put it in the small stock pot, I added 8 minced cloves of garlic, and the 14.5 ounce can of crushed tomatoes.  Your goat is to let it reduce by almost half.  This will take a while… 

While the sauce is reducing….start the Gnocchi 

Next…let's go through the Homemade Gnocchi

This is literally the easiest Gnocchi Recipe I've ever found.  

Ingredients (Gnocchi)
2 potatoes
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 egg
Salt and Pepper to taste

Take a large pot of water, fill with water and add some salt to taste.  Peel potatoes, and lightly cut into smaller pieces.  Add potatoes to water and cook until tender (but still firm)…about 15 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and put it into a bowl - (1) mash them with a fork (or potato masher…if you're fancy and you actually have one…).  (2) Measure out 1 cup mashed potato, 2 cups of flour, and 1 egg into a large bowl.  (3) Combine ingredients until the dough forms a ball.  (4) Then, you're going to take small portions off that dough-ball, and create long tubes.  (5) On a floured counter, cut the tubes into smaller pieces.

Once you're ready to eat, bring another pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Drop in the homemade gnocchi and cook for 2-5 minutes or until they've risen to the surface (kind of like ravioli). Take the gnocchi out of the water, and into a butter-laden sauté pan.  Add some salt and pepper to taste, and let the gnocchi suck up the butter…. #nomnomnom

One you're done cooking the gnocchi, plate everything up…and EAT IT!! 

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