Comforting, perfectly cooked beef ragu served with delicate Parmesan gnocchi makes for the perfect meal on chilly days.
Keyword Beef ragu, Beef ragu recipe, ragu
Prep Time 30minutes
Cook Time 3hours
Total Time 3hours30minutes
Author Alida Ryder
for the ragu
2red onionspeeled and chopped
3cupstomato puree (approximately 750ml)
2sprigs fresh rosemary
5sprigs fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
for the Parmesan gnocchi
1kg (2lbs)baking/fluffy potatoes
salt to taste
To make the ragu, preheat your oven to 160°c.
In a large, oven-proof pot (with a lid) add a splash of oil. Pat the beef dry with paper towels and season generously with salt. Sear the beef on all sides until golden brown and a sticky fond forms on the bottom of the pot.
Once the beef as browned, remove from the pot and set aside. In the same pot, add the onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent.
Add the red wine and scrape the sticky bits off the bottom of the pot. Add the tomato puree, herbs and stock. Place the beef and any resting juices back into the pot.
Cover the pot with a lid and place in a preheated oven. Allow to braise for 3-4 hours or until the beef is soft and tender.
In the meantime, make the gnocchi.
Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour until a skewer is easily inserted.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Halve the potatoes and scoop the flesh into a bowl.
Place the Parmesan into the bowl with the potatoes. Using a potato masher/fork, mash until there are no lumps. Add the egg yolks and mix well.
Add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time and mix in gently, you don’t want to over-work the dough. I only needed 1.5 cups of flour for my gnocchi but some mixtures might need a bit more. It’s best to make sure your potatoes are quite dry before adding the flour though as the more flour you add, the tougher your gnocchi will be.
When you’ve added enough flour to result in a soft dough, break tennis ball sized pieces off of the dough and roll into long strips on a floured surface. cut the strip into 1cm gnocchis and place on a tray covered with semolina until you are ready to cook them. If you like, you can also use a fork to make indents in the gnocchi which create little spaces to suck up more of the ragu sauce.
Once the beef is tender, remove the beef from the pot. Shred the meat and discard any bones excess fat or cartilage. Place the meat back into the sauce and set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for a few minutes and season to taste.
To cook the gnocchi, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and drop the gnocchi in carefully. When they float to the surface they are ready. Remove them with a slotted spoon and place straight into the ragu.