Plantain Gnocchi with Savory Short Ribs takes a bit of attention, but the results are well worth the work.
Life can take so many interesting twists, can’t it? In one of my recent recipes, I wrote that I had planned to post a recipe a week for the whole year, but that plan crumpled. Fast forward to this week, and I’ve hardly taken any time to work on recipes or this blog. Multiple amazing opportunities have presented themselves, and I’d be foolish to put them off.
That’s starting with the positive. On the not-so-great side of things, my oldest cat Loki has been sick…very sick. He seems to be on the up and up, but we’re still not sure if he’ll be with us much longer.
Frankly, it’s a perfect time for some comfort food. Where else to turn but pillowy plantain dumplings and meaty, saucy short ribs?
I don’t think anyone’s surprised that this recipe features even more plantains. After posting plantain empanadas and a plantain skillet brownie, this is the third plantain recipe in a row! Non-plantain-related recipes are coming soon. Promise!
After making one ingredient plantain tortillas, I simply got swept up in the possibilities of plantain dough. I still have lots of ideas buzzing around in my head. But this isn’t a plantain-only blog, so I’m shelfing some of those for now.
This recipe seems a little daunting, I know. But that’s mostly because it’s two recipes in one: the plantain gnocci and the savory short ribs could be made separately if that’s what floats your boat. Plus, the short ribs are hands off once you get them in the oven!
Gnocchi is a process, but it’s much simpler than you might expect. I find the whole thing fun (working with dough is a blast!). In the end, you get the best reward: crispy on the outside, soft on the inside dumplings. Plus, a single large plantain makes 4 dozen gnocchi, depending on how big you make the gnocchi. And leftovers are a wonderful thing!
Let’s be real: plantain gnocchi can pair with a variety of sauces, from summery pesto to simple sage and brown butter sauce. Let me know how you eat your gnocchi. You all have some of the best ideas!
Plantain Gnocchi with Savory Short Ribs
Plantain Gnocchi with Savory Short Ribs
For the Short Ribs:
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Place dried mushrooms in a bowl and fill with water. Set aside to let the mushrooms reconstitute.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in an 6 quart or larger Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cut the short ribs into individual ribs, if necessary. Season with salt and black pepper. Sear the short ribs by cooking them for 1-2 minutes on each side, working in batches as necessary. Place seared short ribs on a plate and set aside.
- Add the additional tablespoon olive oil to the Dutch oven. Add the onion and carrots, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spatula. Cook for 6-8 minutes, until vegetables are browned and softened.
- Drain the mushrooms. Add the cumin, mushrooms, tomato paste, and garlic cloves. Cook for 1 more minute, stirring to incorporate.
- Pour in the red wine vinegar and use a wooden spatula to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the Dutch oven. Cook for about 1 minute or until the liquid has reduced by half.
- Using tongs, add the ribs back into the Dutch oven. Arrange the short ribs so they are no more than two layers deep. Pour the bone broth overtop. Cover and transfer the Dutch oven to the oven. Cook for 2 1/2 hours.
- After the ribs have finished cooking, use tongs to transfer the ribs to a plate. Let the Dutch oven sit for a minute or two, then skim off any fat that has accumulated on top. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil until reduced slightly and thickened. Stir in lemon juice. Taste the sauce; if it's too salty, add a bit more lemon juice to try and tone down the saltiness.
For the Gnocchi:
- About 45 minutes before the short ribs are done cooking, start the gnocchi. Cut the ends of the plantains and slice the peel vertically down the length of the plantain (this makes it easier to peel them later). Slice the plantain horizontally into 4-5 large chunks. Set a large pot of water over high heat and add plantains. Bring to a boil, cooking for about 15 minutes until the flesh of the plantains can easily be pierced with a fork.
- Drain the plantains. As soon as they’re cool enough to handle, remove peels (they should come off easily now) and toss into a blender with the salt. Blend on medium speed until the plantain forms a sticky, doughy ball. Transfer the dough to a medium bowl and add the arrowroot powder and egg. Mash together until a smooth dough forms.
- Dust your work area with arrowroot powder. Separate the dough into 5-6 equal-sized portions. One at a time, roll out each portion into a 1/2-inch log by rolling back and forth across your work area while applying light pressure with your fingertips. Cut the log into 1-inch portions, then lightly press a fork into each gnocchi to create the infamous ridges. You should end up with about 4 dozen gnocchi.
- Fill a pot halfway with water and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the water’s boiling, carefully drop a dozen or so gnocchi into the water. At first, they’ll all sink. Let boil for about 2 minutes, and you’ll find that the gnocchi float to the top. That’s how you know they’re done! Fish out the floaters with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate. Repeat with all the gnocchi.
- Heat the olive oil/ghee in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the gnocchi and pan-fry for about a minute on each side. Do this in batches if necessary - you don’t want to overcrowd the pan!
- Divide the gnocchi between four plates. Add two short ribs and spoon sauce overtop. Garnish with parsley and serve!