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By: By Between Carpools

Between Carpools is the lifestyle app/site for the busy Jewish woman.  You’ll find home and organizing tips, parenting insights, activities, how-to’s and DIYs, and of course, entertaining ideas, recipes, and inspiring reads. The APP is available at the App Store and Google Play. If you have a kosher smartphone, you can visit your local TAG office to have the app downloaded. Here’s a taste. Enjoy!

Victoria Dwek, Leah Schapira, Renee Muller, Shaindy Menzer, & Esti Waldman


This is the Restaurant Dish You Always Dreamed You Could Make. Have everyone raving tonight and enjoy this

This dish is based on the “gnocchi, short rib ragout, white truffle oil” appetizer that’s on the menu at Entree in Lakewood, NJ...one of the standout restaurant dishes this year. And I think I nailed it. A ragout is meat that cooks in vegetables, so even though it looks like the pulled beef that we usually prepare with barbecue sauce, like the meat in those tacos, it’s savory rather than sweet. I adapted this ragout from a short rib recipe I received from Zami Caterers years ago when I went behind the scenes and watched how all the food for 1,000 people gets prepped all in one day! Finish the dish with some herbs (if you’re using dried instead of fresh, add them to the pot earlier in the cooking process), and a drizzle of truffle oil.

Gnocchi with Short Rib Ragu

1 1/2 - 3 lbs short ribs

Salt and black pepper, for sprinkling

Oil, for searing

1 large Spanish onion, diced

2 ribs celery, diced

2 carrots, diced

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

2 cups red wine

2 cups beef stock, or more to cover

1 bay leaf

Fresh or dried rosemary or thyme, for sprinkling

10 to 32 ounces frozen gnocchi [see note]

White truffle oil, for finishing

Fresh herbs (parsley will work), for garnish

  1. Season ribs generously with salt and pepper.
  2. In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat a thin layer of oil over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add ribs and sear for 2-3 minutes per side (sear in batches if needed). Remove the ribs and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  4. Drain most of the oil and fat, leaving 1-2 tablespoons.
  5. In a food processor, combine onion, celery, carrots, and garlic. Add processed vegetables to pan and cook until beginning to turn golden, while scraping up the bottom of the pan. Stir in tomato paste and cook for an additional 5 minutes, scraping up bottom of pan.
  6. Add red wine and let simmer for 10 minutes to reduce. Add ribs and add enough beef stock to cover. Add bay leaf and a sprinkle of dried rosemary or thyme. Check them throughout the cooking process to make sure they are covered by liquid, and add more stock if necessary.
  7. Cover pan and bake for 3 hours, or until ribs are falling apart and shred easily. Remove ribs and bones from pan and shred, removing fat as necessary. At this point you can put the pan over the stovetop and cook to reduce the liquid. If you’ve only cooked 1 ½ lbs of ribs, you’ll likely only need half the liquid.
  8. Return meat to reduced liquid. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Prepare gnocchi as directed on the package. Serve meat over gnocchi and add some of the sauce. Top with fresh herbs and drizzle with a bit of truffle oil and serve.

Yield: 4-8 servings

Ragu is super freezer-friendly. You can prepare the meat in advance, and just warm up and throw over freshly cooked gnocchi. I’ve also prepared the whole dish a day ahead with the gnocchi, and kept it covered in the refrigerator to warm up the next day. That works fine too, but don’t refreeze the cooked gnocchi or it will get too soft when being rewarmed.

Short ribs worked out very well here because you don’t need a large quantity. The sauce is very thick so it really makes the meat seem like it “grows.” The quantity of short ribs and gnocchi simple depends on the ratio of meat to gnocchi you want, but there will be enough sauce for the range of quantity noted in the recipe. 

What’s the Best Way to Pull?

Pulled beef, previously considered a very casual way of serving meat in sandwiches, is now included in lots of special occasion dishes and appetizers. And the trend isn’t going away, because it’s also practical. By pulling, you get to stretch usually expensive pieces of meat and there’s also tons of flavor. But now that you have two completely different standout recipes from us that incorporate pulled beef (Remember those tacos in October?), you might like to know the best way to get that meat pulled.

And it’s not with those “claws.” Nope, you don’t need to buy a special gadget. It’s not using forks either. That’s usually the recommended way. The best way, though, is using your gloved hands (since most of us don’t have a stand mixer for meat).

Chef Josh Massin from Nobo in Teaneck told us, “Bring meat to room temperature in its liquid. Remove it from the liquid and place it in a bowl, not on a cutting board. Meat that’s warm or at room temperature will be easier to pull. Use your hands or break the meat into chunks and shred using the paddle attachment in a stand mixer.”