International Gnocchi Party: Braised Beef Short Ribs Adobo on Potato Gnocchi
Posted Feb 26 2010 12:00am
I can’t remember who initiated the International Gnocchi Party but teaming up with Penny and Christine while inviting more food bloggers to join this "get-together" is such a great idea. Penny did a survey about the theme of the party: flavor, color or words. Flavor received half of the percentage and Penny chose umami flavor as the theme for this party.
Here’s the guest list with Penny as your host the gnocchi party and check out their other gnocchi creations.
The first time I made gnocchi was in college and although I was able to form, shape and cook the gnocchi correctly, I think my family was only forced to eat it. Today, I’m not forcing them to eat anymore but gnocchi is still not one of their favorite foods to it.
If you don't have a potato ricer, you can pass the potatoes through a fine strainer with a wooden spoon. Just make sure the potatoes are hot.
I usually add egg yolk to my cooked potatoes, but for this post, I didn’t add any. Although egg yolks act as a binding agent, it also leaves the gnocchi a different bouncy quality. Making gnocchi without egg yolks can be very tricky and sometimes frustrating. The dough is quite delicate to handle and the worst part is, your gnocchi could break apart while they’re cooking. It takes a lot of practice and persistence. But it’s an optional step. With or without egg yolks, this gnocchi dish is still fantastic with my umami adobo.
While thinking for an umami ingredient to go with it, I was planning to add ground dried mushroom to my cooked potatoes. But since most of the dried mushrooms at home are huge and my spice grinder is not apt for that challenge, I decided to keep my potato gnocchi plain. Another umami idea is to pair it with a beef ragu cooked with tomato sauce and beef stock. But that day, I was having beef adobo for lunch and I just have this wonderful feeling that they would go well together.
Adobo as you all know is a quintessential Filipino comfort food and is considered as a national dish of the Philippines. Every home in the Philippines has their own adobo version and would claim that it’s the best adobo in the country or even the world. Adobo’s main flavors are soy sauce, vinegar and garlic and thousands of variations exist and it can be applied to seafood, meats or vegetables but the most common adobo are made with chicken, pork and kangkong (water spinach).
This beef adobo is definitely better with beef short ribs. Hands down!
This adobo is made with beef and while you can use any kind of stewing beef, beef short ribs is the best cut of meat to use. You can also play around with what kind of vinegar to use but I will stick with apple cider vinegar, cane vinegar or coconut vinegar for now. The first time I made this, I used about 1 cup of coconut vinegar which was too strong for my family. So, I halved the vinegar amount. If the vinegar is still too strong, just decrease the amount. The soy sauce could be any kind of soy sauce but there’s nothing like Filipino soy sauce for an adobo recipe. Don't be surprised if the adobo is quite salty. Some adobos are meant to be salty and they could last for a week and the flavor gets better and better every single day.
3.5 lbs potatoes (about 1.6kg) 2-3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour freshly grated nutmeg unrefined sea salt freshly ground white pepper
To start the gnocchi, preheat your oven to 400º degrees Fahrenheit. Place the potatoes onto a sheet of foil, add the salt and water, and wrap. Bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until cooked through.
Peel the potatoes while they are still hot. Cut and rice the potatoes, making sure they don’t pile up in one spot. Let the potatoes cool completely before proceeding.
To make the dough, sprinkle the potatoes with a good amount of flour. Aerate the potatoes with a bench scraper, and then add the salt, nutmeg and white pepper.
Break up the egg yolks and pour them over the potatoes. Cover the surface again with more flour. Continue to cut and gently lift the dough.
Test the dough by squeezing it gently in your hand. It shouldn’t stick. Add a bit more flour, if needed.
Once done, shape the dough into a rectangle and fold it a few times, using your fingertips to bring it together. Flatten the dough out until it is about the thickness of your finger. Sprinkle with flour and let rest about 5 to 10 minutes.
Cut strips of dough, about the width of your finger, and sprinkle with flour so they don’t stick to each other. Roll out each strip and cut the ropes into 3/4 - inch pieces. Separate them slightly, and flour them well, so they don’t stick together.
For a more rustic look, you can leave the gnocchi as is. Shaping the dough makes them look better, and also creates a little pocket to capture the sauce. This can be done with or without a gnocchi paddle.
Once done, sprinkle with flour and cover with a clean dry cloth. Fresh gnocchi can sit at room temperature for 4 to 5 hours before cooking.
You can even freeze gnocchi raw. Just place them onto a tray, making sure they aren’t touching each other. Once frozen, transfer to a plastic freezer bag and freeze for up to 2 months. Cook the gnocchi from frozen and serve with your favorite sauce.
Braised Beef Short Ribs Adobo
1 head garlic 4 thin slices ginger 1 lemon grass (optional) 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns 1 cup chicken stock 1 cup coconut milk ½ cup coconut vinegar ½ cup soy sauce (Filipino brand) 3 bay leaves 2 red bird's chilies (optional)
3 pounds beef short ribs (2½-inch piece, bone-in) coarse sea salt
To prepare your mise en place, separate the garlic cloves and peel, and julienne the ginger. Next, pound the lemongrass with a knife to flatten it and tie into a knot. Measure the gather the peppercorns, chicken stock, coconut milk, coconut vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaves and red chilies.
To prepare the beef, pat each piece with paper towels to remove the excess moisture. Heat large stewing pot with lid or a dutch oven to medium high heat. While the pan heats up, lay the beef and season with salt on all sides.
When the pan is properly heated, add the oil. Then sear or brown the beef on all sides. Once browned, add the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, peppercorns, chicken stock, coconut milk, coconut vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaf and the chilies. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to simmer for about 1 -½ to 2 hours or until the meat is very tender. You can also cook this at a 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius) preheated oven for 2-3 hours or until the meat is very tender.
When the meat is already tender, remove from the heat. Since adobo is best served the next day, place the pot over an ice bath to cool quickly. Once cool, cover and transfer to the refrigerator overnight.
To reheat the dish the dish, remove first any hardened fat from the surface of the stew. Then, reheat the adobo in the oven at 350 F (175 C) until heated through.
Assembling the dish
To assemble the dish, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. While the water is boiling, remove the beef adobo from the oven. With slotted spoon, transfer the beef onto a plate. Then, strain the sauce through a strainer into another pan. Cut or break the beef into smaller pieces with a knife or a fork. Add to the sauce. Bring the beef mixture to a lower simmer.
When the water is already boiling, lower the heat slightly. Gently add the gnocchi into the water, stirring to prevent them from sticking. It is advisable to cook them by batch so they have enough room to cook. When the gnocchi floats to the top, gently lift them out with a slotted spoon, allowing the excess water to drain. Transfer the cooked gnocchi into warm individual bowls. Then spoon the beef adobo on top. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, if desired.
The sauce is usually reduced before adding the meat back but it’s not necessary unless the sauce is too thin. But reducing the adobo liquid would make it very salty. You can thicken the sauce slightly with a slurry (cornstarch/arrowroot and water) instead.
You may not use all of the beef adobo as a little bit goes a long way. But leftovers are great for anything such as a grilled sandwich (think of it as pulled pork sandwiches) with fontina cheese, in pastas, turnovers and many others.
This dish may sound time-consuming but these two components can be prepared ahead of time. The braised beef adobo only requires a few ingredients and minimal time to prepare.
You can remove the lemongrass and the chilies halfway through the cooking time.