400g Royal Creme potatoes
1 egg yolk
600g beef cheeks
3 garlic cloves diced
1 onion diced
1 carrot diced
1 celery stick diced
small bunch fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
250ml beef stock
500ml red wine (leaves 250ml for the chef while cooking!)
Half a day old baguette cut into 1.5cm cubes
Heat oven to 160. Place potatoes on a bed of rock salt on a tray and cook in oven for 2 hours. Push potato flesh through a sieve. Using a spoon is best as they will be hot. Season with salt and pepper and combine with egg yolk. Combine half of the flour. When fully incorporated add the other half and combine.
Flour a bench top and roll the dough into a 1.5cm snake. The dough will be quite wet so you may get your hands a little messy. Take a sharp knife and cut into 2cm pieces. This will shape them like small pillows.
Bring a pot of water to a simmer and cook in batches. Don't overcrowd the pot. When they rise to the surface they are ready. Remove and place in a bowl of cold water. When all pieces are cooked, drain the bowl and fill with more cold water to keep them refreshed until later. Set aside.
Dry the cheeks with paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Heat 30-40ml olive oil in a pot over high heat and brown cheeks each side. Set cheeks aside and lower heat to medium. Add a splash of olive oil and add the vegetables and cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
Add the wine and stock to the
pot and scrape any stuck veg off the base and simmer for 5 minutes. Add herbs, cheeks and season with salt and pepper. Put the lid on and move to your lowest burner for 1 hour. Turn cheeks and leave for a further hour.
In the meantime heat oven to 180g. Heat the butter gently in a small pan. Using a spoon separate the clarified butter from the milk solids. Set aside the clarified butter. Soak the bread in the milk solids. Arrange on a tray and place in oven until golden and crunchy - about 12 minutes.
Turn cheeks once more and cook for 15 minutes more. At this stage, if the sauce is not thickened to your liking remove the cheeks and turn up the heat on the sauce. When ready, taste and adjust seasoning if required. Return cheeks to the sauce and shred using 2 forks.
Lightly fry the gnocchi in the clarified butter until just starting to brown lightly each side.
Chop some flat leaf parsley and shred some parmesan cheese.
gnocchi amongst bowls. Top with ragu, then garnish with parsley, parmesan and croutons.