- Recipe(s): Gnocchi with mushrooms and sage (page 114) & Gnocchi with braised oxtail (page 117)
- Prep: Easy & Easy
- Taste: Ok & Good
One thing that, ‘Cook with Jamie..,’ has is an abundance of gnocchi recipes. In addition to the recipe that shows you how to make a basic gnocchi from scratch, there are 4 other recipes that we made this past year as part of our challenge. This blog will cover 2 of the 4, with the others already covered in other posts.
With Mushrooms and Sage
We completed this recipe on April 16, 2014 and it was fairly easy to prep. We didn’t make the gnocchi on this occasion, which greatly reduced the prep time. Aside from chopping a few herbs, your mushrooms, some garlic and a chili pepper (don’t touch your eyes after) all you need to do is heat up some stock. Well, I suppose you also have to boil your gnocchi but that really takes no time at all.
We thought this version was ok. The sage seemed overly dominant in this dish, which is probably because it was uncooked. Nowhere in the recipe does it tell you to fry it or anything but then the last line says to ‘serve with crispy sage leaves.’ Had we read the recipe in full before putting it all together we would have noticed this and this could have possibly altered the flavour of the dish. As it was, the sage took away from the earthiness that you get from the mushrooms, which was unfortunate. We also found that there was too much gnocchi for the number of mushrooms.
I would probably try this dish again, making sure to fry the sage leaves and either add more mushrooms or less gnocchi.
With Braised Oxtail
Made on July 10, 2014, this version of gnocchi was much better than the previous version with mushrooms and sage. As with the recipe above, we also used store bought gnocchi on this occasion. The difference is that we bought it fresh from Whole Foods, which is the way to go if you don’t have time to make a fresh batch yourself. I would say always make it fresh if you can though, as it is still better than the fresh store bought variety.
Anyway, this recipe essentially requires you to make an oxtail stew, which definitely makes this a lengthy dish to complete but one which can be left unattended for quite a while. What I mean by this is that once you have everything in the pot you just let it cook. What I actually did was prep everything the night before and put it in the slow cooker. The next morning, before I left for work, I pulled the slow cooker pot out of the fridge, put the timer on the slow cooker, turned it to low and let it go. This was ingenious. The oxtail was done just before my partner and I get home from work. All we had to do when we got home was cook the gnocchi quickly and we were ready to eat!
Speaking of eating, the finished dish was good. It had a very intense flavour, which is typical of oxtail. If you have never cooked this cut of meat before I would definitely try it sometime. Combined with the richness of the oxtail meat you also get a tonne of flavour from juniper berries (think gin), white wine, leeks, carrots, onion, etc. You can tell this is really just like a stew. The gnocchi that we bought was the perfect vehicle for getting the stew into our bellies!
Cooking the majority of this dish in the slow cooker definitely helped but we may not make this again due to the time commitment involved. Perhaps in the future we may make this on a rainy weekend, which we all know will happen in Vancouver!