Beef and Beetroot, Fried Gnocchi, Roast Kumara and Celeriac
This dish was one that came together from the corners of my mind. Shredded beef brisket and beetroot ragu, roasted kumara and celeriac chips, fresh parsley, peppery radish and outrageously delicious gnocchi, fried in olive oil, all served on potato skin crisps. I don't know what cuisine this falls under, but it's delicious! Recipe follows.
1kg Floury Potatoes
3 Teaspoons Sweet Smoked Paprika
1 Celeriac, peeled and cut into thin wedges
1 Orange Kumara, peeled and cut into cubes
800g Beef Brisket, cut into strips
1 Beetroot, Peeled and Grated
2 Onions, peeled and finely sliced
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
400g Tomato, chopped
2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano
2 Teaspoons Dried Marjoram
1 Teaspoon Dried Rosemary
1 Cup of Beef Stock
4 Radishes (1 radish per person), finely sliced
We start with the gnocchi first, as it takes the longest. Get a fork or a skewer and prick the potatoes all over. Cook the potatoes whole on a wire rack in the oven at 140 C. This took about 3 hours for me, but it depends on the size of your potatoes.
Once done, cut each potato in half, scoop out the soft flesh and set the potato skin aside. Push the potato through a ricer and spread it across a chopping board. Sprinkle with some salt, a pinch or two. Dust with the paprika, and through a seive, dust a 1/4 cup of flour evenly over the potato. Fold the potato in half, then with a knife, "chop it out" so it's the same size it was before (i do this techinque so we end up with pillowy gnocchi. The more you knead, the more gluey they become).
Repeat the process twice, then push it gently into a big sausage. It's important here to make sure that the dough is cohesive and not crumbling apart like baked potato. If not, add flour a little bit at a time until you form a dough. The gluten should bond with the potato, giving us the texture we want: a fluffy dough stays together.
Once the dough is there, form a large sausage, then cut it in half lengthways. Dust the cut side with flour, then cut each piece off, about two centimetres apart so you end up with a bunch of oblongs. To make the gnocchi shape above, I pressed the dough into a floured hemispherical measuring spoon. Otherwise, just make whatever shape you feel like. Put onto a floured surface and set aside.
In a large pot, brown the beef brisket with the onions and garlic with a couple of generous lugs of olive oil on a medium heat. Once the onions are soft add the oregano, marjoram, rosemary and grated beetroot. Top up with the cup of beef stock and add water to cover it. Simmer on a medium heat for 3 hours, or until it falls apart. Cook the sauce down then salt and pepper to taste. Leave on a low heat so it stays hot.
While that's going, toss the potato skins in olive oil until well covered, sprinkle with salt. Bang into the oven at 200 C, bake until crispy, then set aside. Lower the temperature to 180. Keep an eye on them!! They'll burn quickly once they start.
Arrange the celeriac and kumara on a baking tray on some baking paper. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and roast in the oven at 180 C for 25 minutes or until the kumara is tender.
Boil the gnocchi. Once cooked, batch fry the gnocchi in olive oil in a nonstick frying pan. You can push them quite far in this process, but do check to make sure they don't burn. You want them golden with darker patches in places.
Once you're done with batch frying the gnocchi, put them in a spacious bowl and gently mix the gnocchi with the meat.
Arrange each plate as above, meat and gnocchi on the crispy skins. Dot with the kumara and celeriac with the fresh parsley nestled in to nooks and crannies. Spread a few rings of radish on top. Drizzle with some of the meat sauce and spritz with a bit of lemon. Pepper well!