Friday, June 3, 2011


Now I realize that this isn't the most attractive looking dish. I mean it's poutine, not meant to be pretty. But this guy sure did make it delicious looking. When I saw this picture on one of the food galleries, and then read the caption, my jaw dropped. Must. Make. That. Now. But, I was a good girl and waited until the short rib was on special. A buck off regular price isn't that big of a deal I guess, but still.

In any case, this recipe is a direct knockoff of his recipe, with really minor changes. It's so good, we had it two nights in a row. Usually, I try to re-invent leftovers, but I needed to have this dish again in it's original form.

It a short rib ragu, basically a beef stew, cooked in the oven for three hours. The beef is then shredded, and the sauce puréed in the blender to get more of a gravy consistency. Then the beef is added back into the sauce and kept hot until the gnocchi is cooked.

I know what goes on poutine is really a matter of personal preference. I like it with shredded cheese, for that melty stringy factor, and with curds, for that squeaky salty goodness. So I topped the cooked gnocchi with a mix of shredded cheese meant for pizza. Then, I topped that with saucy beef, then added curds. Room temperature, made-that-morning-20-minutes-away-from-my-house curds. Very important. Then added big chunks of beef on top.

Kevin, the guy behind this recipe added gremolata to the top of the dish. Usually, I would have decided that it was only needed to pretty up the dish, and wouldn't have made it, but I just got a new microplane zester thing, and I wanted to try it out. Plus I had parsley in the fridge, so might as well use it. So I was really surprised that when I brought that first bite to my mouth, the gremolata did really wonderful things to brighten the dish up. So I'm glad I tried it. And next time it's added on a dish, I might not dismiss it so quickly!

Braised Short Rib Ragu
recipe slightly adapted from closet cooking

1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 pounds short ribs, 2-3 inches long
2 cups onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon anchovy paste
1 cup grape/cranberry juice
1 cup crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
3 cups beef stock (more to thin the sauce, if needed)

Soak the mushrooms in 1/2 cup boiling water.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
Sear the short ribs until brown on all sides and set aside.
Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the oil and fat from the pan and reduce to medium heat.
Add the onions, celery and carrots and saute until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
Add the garlic and anchovy paste and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
Add the fruit juice and deglaze the pan.
Add the ribs, the mushrooms and their liquid, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, salt and pepper and enough beef stock to cover the ribs.
Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer to a preheated 350F oven and cook until the meet is falling off the bones, about 3 hours.
Remove the beef from the pan, set aside to cool
Spoon off as much fat from the top of the sauce as possible. Puree the sauce in a blender.
Pull the beef from the bones, shred it, return it to the sauce and simmer to thicken if desired.

recipe slightly adapted from closet cooking

Combine 1/4 cup chopped parsley, the zest of 1/2 a lemon and one grated clove of garlic.

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