Pesach Recipe: Gnocchi in Beef Cheek Sauce

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Gnocchi is a light, versatile, potato-based pasta or dumpling. Attempts to make it kosher for Passover proved challenging because simply substituting potato starch for the flour resulted in a gummy texture. The trick to achieving a light kosher for Passover gnocchi is decreasing the amount of potato starch and beating the egg white until frothy. There are two types of gnocchi: one that is dough-like and can be rolled out like pasta, and one that is more delicate and is portioned out using a piping bag.

A potato ricer is an inexpensive kitchen tool that ‘mashes’ the potato while keeping it fluffy and starchy.

Tip: It is important to rice the potatoes and make the gnocchi while the potatoes are still hot.

Basic Potato Gnocchi:

2-3 large russet potatoes
1 egg white
6-8 tablespoons potato starch

Preheat oven to 375°F. Pierce the potatoes all over with a fork. Place potatoes on baking sheet and bake uncovered for about 45-60 minutes, until potato is fully baked. Using an immersion blender, regular blender or standing mixer, beat egg white until it quadruples in size and becomes white and frothy. Set aside.

While still hot, peel potato and mash using a potato ricer or masher. Add the potato starch to the potatoes and mix until combined. Add the egg whites and mix until just combined. Divide ‘dough’ into two; roll out and slice into 1½ inch pieces. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook gnocchi until they float to the top. Remove from boiling water and add to desired sauce.

Beef Cheek Sauce:

1 pound beef cheek
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large tomato (about 1 cup chopped)
½ cup good-quality red wine
1½ – 2 cups chicken stock

Note: You can omit the garlic if you do not use garlic on Pesach.

In a medium saucepan (3 or 4 quart), heat oil on medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add meat and cook for about three minutes per side or until meat develops a brown sear. Remove meat from pan and lower heat to low-medium.

Add onions and cook for ten minutes, until onions are translucent. Add the carrots, celery, and garlic and cook for another ten minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for five minutes. Add the ½ cup of wine, raise heat and simmer for five minutes. Add the reserved beef cheek meat and enough chicken stock to just about cover the meat. Lower heat to the lowest possible, and cover pot. Cook for 2 hours until beef cheek is tender. Let sauce cool. Remove beef cheek and shred the meat.

When ready to serve, heat a frying pan on medium heat and add 1 tablespoon oil. Add the shredded meat and cook for three minutes until meat gets golden brown. Pour reserved sauce and cook for two minutes. Add the gnocchi and cook for three minutes on medium heat.

Serve immediately.

Recipe submitted by Joy of Kosher Magazine. Subscribe or Give the Gift of Joy of Kosher at Download their new iPad app on the App Store.