Braised Beef Short Ribs & Gnocchi with Tomato Saffron Sauce

Today Kitchen Monkey returns to present a most savory dish that he made, with the help of his family, on Christmas Eve Eve. The ribs recipe is adapted from one of Charlie Trotter's books, and for the gnocchi, I consulted Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Italian Cooking. The key to the short ribs is cooking time, which should be at least 4 hours, but I let it braise at a low temperature for 8 hours. It was unbelievably succulent, quite literally falling off the bone, and the braising liquid was reduced into a delicious sauce that would have been fine on the gnocchi, but I don't get to cook for the family very often, so I had to increase the fancy. Hence the tomato saffron sauce, also quite good. Best thing about short-ribs? These little puppies are cheap. See the comments for the ribs and sauce recipe. The gnocchi recipe will be posted later. My sister Kelly's boyfriend, Jean-Jacques, helped by making the gnocchi. The spot of flour on his face was staged, I'm afraid, by my sister, who thought it would make it seem like he had been harder at work.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Braised Short-Ribs and Tomato-Saffron Sauce

Serves 4

2 tbsp grapeseed oil
4 beef short ribs, excess fat trimmed
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped leek
2 cups red tomatoes, chopped
12 cloves garlic, peeled
2 jalapenos, halved
1 ½ cups red wine
2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs oregano
8 leaves fresh basil
1 ½ cups chicken stock

1) Preheat oven to 300. Heat oil in roasting pan over medium-high heat, sear ribs (2-3 minutes per side), remove ribs and set aside
2) Add onion and leek to roasting pan, cook over medium-high heat, 7-10 minutes, add tomatoes, garlic and chiles; cook for 5 min, stirring
3) Add wine, rosemary, oregano, basil and stock, bring to simmer
4) Return ribs to pan, cover tightly, braise for 4 hours at 300 degrees, OR braise for 1 hour at 300 degrees followed by 6-7 hours at 200 degrees
5) liquid can be strained and reduced for sauce if you like


2 tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
5 yellow tomatoes, peeled, seeded, coarsely chopped (I used red tomatoes, which taste just as good for this sauce and produce an orange rather than yellow color)
¼ cup chopped celery
¼ cup chopped peeled carrot
2 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
½ tsp lightly crushed saffron threads
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper


1) Heat olive oil and onion in saucepan over medium heat for 10 minutes
2) Add garlic, 3 more minutes
3) Add tomatoes, celery, carrot, thyme, bay leaves, cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
4) Add saffron and balsamic, cook for 7 more minutes over low heat
Cool slightly and puree everything in blender
Season with S&P reheat before serving
5) Pour over gnocchi, tastes good also with farfalle and parmesan, or as a dipping sauce for bread