If you like to cook chances are you have a signature dish, something you excel at making and love serving to family and friends. For the last several years my signature dish has been my braised beef shorts ribs that I detailed on my very first post here at Digital Dads. Typically I’d serve them with a parmesan walnut risotto and whatever vegetable happens to be in season.
However, recently I’ve been working on reinventing that dish. I started about a year ago when I used the braised short ribs as a base for raviolis that I brought to my family’s Christmas day pot luck dinner. As happy as I was with them, I felt something was missing; that I could do better.
These short rib ravioli were already a labor of love taking at least two days to make. First there are at least eight hours of braising, then making the reduction sauce, allowing the meat to cool before grinding it, making the pasta dough and filling mixture and, finally, assembly. Because they took so long to make I was loathe to mess too much with a formula that worked so well the first time around.
It seemed silly to go through all this to only braise a pound of meat and make a few dozen to test; so I did something I wouldn’t normally advise and made a full batch (about 150 ravioli) with the hope that the changes I made to my recipe would turn out alright. Granted they weren’t radical changes and, thankfully, I was rewarded for my efforts.
To make the filling of these raviolis I usually take a batch of beef short ribs, grind them using a coarse plate, mix in eggs, parmesan cheese and as much of the cooled reduction sauce necessary to achieve a consistent mix. This time around I decided to do a two to one ratio of beef short ribs to pork country ribs. I also added diced braised leeks and carrots, as well as toasted pine nuts to provide a textural element.
In the end my updated braised short rib ravioli turned out excellent and have become my new signature dish. Served with coarsely chopped leeks and carrots and topped off with the rich reduction sauce it was evoked memories of the original dish, as well as felt as familiar and comforting as a classic beef stew.
Braised Short Rib Ravioli
- 1 batch Super Bowl Winning Beef Short Ribs
- 1 batch braised leeks and carrots, reserving half for garnish
- 6 eggs, plus one for egg wash
- 2 cups finely grated parmesan reggiano cheese
- 3/4 cup toasted pine nuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups reduction sauce, cooled
- 4 to 5 pounds fresh pasta sheets
- Grind the short ribs using a coarse plate and mix in the eggs, cheese, pine nuts and reduction sauce
- Using a small spoon, or a 2 ounce scoop, and portion out the meat mixture across the pasta sheets
- Whisk the remaining egg and add a little water to thin it out; using a pastry brush lightly spread the egg wash around the portions of meat mixture
- Lay a second sheet of pasta over the first one with the meat mixture and press gently, pushing the air out, and sealing in the filling
- Using a knife or a ravioli cutter create the raviolis and toss is corn meal or rice flour (helps prevent sticking when they are stored)
- Lay the finished ravioli out on a bakers drying rack for 30-45 minutes
- Cook for six minutes in boiling salted water or pack them up in between layers of wax or parchment paper and freeze for two to three months.
Note: do not defrost frozen raviolis before serving. Instead, toss directly into boiling salted water and adjust cooking time by three to four minutes.