8 beef shanks
2 Spanish onions - 1/2” dice
6 peeled carrots- 1/4” rounds
3 ribs of celery cleaned and trimmed - 1/2” dice
8 cloves of garlic - minced
2 T. fresh Thyme leaves (save twigs and tie “bouquet garni” style)
1 ( 6 oz can) tomato paste
1 ( 28 oz can) diced tomatoes
4 cups beef stock
2 cups dry white wine (can substitute more stock)
salt + pepper
2 T. olive oil
Preheat oven to 300.
Season both sides of the beef shanks with salt and pepper.
In a large dutch oven heat olive oil over high heat until smoking. In one layer, with care not to overcrowd the pan, sear ALL sides of each shank. Remove to a platter and repeat these steps with remaining shanks.
In the same pan add onions, celery, carrots, and thyme to the pan. Saute until translucent and soft (approx 10 -12 minutes).
Add garlic, tomato paste, diced tomatoes and wine (or 2 c. stock) stir scraping bits from the bottom of the pan and gently bring to a boil. Add 2 c of stock, stir into vegetable mixture, tie bouquet garni to pot handle and lower into pot. Add shanks back to the pot along with the remaining stock.
Cover with lid and place in preheated oven for 3 hours.
Let rest 10 mins before serving.
Carefully remove each shank and plate on top of a bed of polenta and serve with gremolata (recipe below) or serve with gnocchi (recipe below) tossed with ragu from the pot.
3 c. leftover mashed potatoes
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 - 4 cups + all-purpose flour
Add mashed potatoes, egg and ricotta to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. (Optionally, the dough can be mixed by hand.)
Stir until wet ingredients are fully incorporated into potatoes. Begin adding 1 cup of flour at a time and incorporate fully before adding the next cup. Continue adding flour until a soft dough forms.
Pinch off tennis ball size piece of dough and roll into a long 1” wide log. Then cut into 1” long pieces. Place on a cookie sheet lightly dusted with flour to hold gnocchi before cooking. Repeat with remaining dough. (If making a large batch, you can freeze the gnocchi at this point: leave on the cookie sheet and place in freezer. Once frozen, transfer to freezer-safe zip bag.)
Bring a pot of water to a boil and season with salt (just like cooking pasta) set ice bath nearby. Sprinkle 4 handfuls of gnocchi into the water. Wait for the gnocchi to float to the top then remove and place in the ice bath. Remove from ice bath and hold with a light drizzle of olive oil. Repeat until all gnocchi are cooked.
Pine Nut Gremolata
1 lemon zested + 1t. of juice
1/2 c. pine nuts toasted
1/4 c. chopped Italian parsley
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine.