Braised Short Ribs with Crispy Gnocchi

One of the things that I miss most about Boston is a cute little bookstore/cafe named Trident located in Back Bay. 9 times out of 10 I would order the lemon ricotta stuffed French toast, but every now and then something else on the menu would seem too tempting and I’d stray from my go-to favorite. Their gnocchi topped with short rib ragout is absolutely to die for!

For this recipe I went with a classic, rustic Italian recipe – no frills but lots of flavor. Crisping up the gnocchi in a saute pan before serving adds a lot of texture to the dish and makes it taste so much better. This recipe will make 6-8 servings.

Braised Short Ribs with Crispy Gnocchi

  • 5 pounds short ribs (8-12 ribs)
  • 3 tbsp EVOO
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 medium head fennel, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 cup cooking sherry
  • 8 oz canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 packages frozen gnocchi

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Season the ribs with salt and pepper and add half to the pot, and cook until they are browned on all sides. Remove the ribs and brown the remaining ones the same way. Drain the excess fat until only a thin layer remains.

Add the remaining oil and the veggies to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan and cook until the veggies start to brown. Add in the bay leaves, garlic, tomato paste, cumin, and coriander. Mix everything up until it’s well combined and fragrant – about 1 minute.

Deglaze the pot with the sherry and reduce the liquid by half. Add the ribs back to the pot along with the beef stock, red wine, and crushed tomatoes. Pour in a cup of water and arrange the ribs as evenly as possible using tongs. If you need to, you can stack the ribs in two layers.

Bring the mixture up to a simmer, cover the pot and place in the oven. Cook the ribs for 2 hours and 45 minutes, turning them over every 40 minutes. When cooked, remove and discard the bones. Skim the top and remove as much fat as possible. Add salt and pepper if needed and add the vinegar. Keep the sauce warm while you prepare the gnocchi.

Cook the gnocchi according to package directions. In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Crisp the gnocchi, roughly 4 minutes per side. You may need to do this in two batches, depending on the size of your skillet. Serve the gnocchi with the sauce and short ribs.

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