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Slow Cooked Beef with Gnocchi and Yoghurt Béchamel Recipe

Slow Cooked Beef with Gnocchi and Yoghurt Béchamel Recipe

If there were awards given for the most delicious dinner ever, then this recipe would win bucket loads of them. Like medals for great wines, this one is not silver, nor bronze but gold. And you know what? This is meat and potatoes. Everyone loves meat and potatoes, right? They are our staple, winter foods. But I have taken the meat and turned a cheap, cut of gravy beef into scandalizingly good, tasty, tender falling apart delicious and then topped that beef with (shhh, store-bought) gnocchi, and THEN topped that with a cheesy, yoghurt bechamel.

This was supposed to get served up to my daughter and her fiance last Sunday which was two days after their engagement party where a fabulous time was had by all. But my daughter, poor thing, ended up with a nasty cough and temperature after all the adrenaline wore off and cancelled dinner after I had already started preparing this. Not to fear, we have two single, male friends and next door neighbours who are always happy to come and eat with us and so we shared it with them.

And it makes a LOT. The four of us each had two helpings. Then I insisted they go home with take-away containers and I still had some left over and am happy to report that re-heated the next day in the microwave, it was every bit as tasty and popular as it was on the night.

If you are not a regular maker of gnocchi, it cooks in about 2 minutes. You’ll know when it’s done when it floats back up to the surface and/or the water in your pot returns to the boil. If you make it in advance, try and separate it onto a plate or it will all stick together as it starts to cool. The bechamel can be made up at any point too, just cover it with some cling wrap so you don’t get an ugly skin forming. And if you want to make the beef in the morning, you can put together the whole dish or do it in stages and just keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it but it will take longer to cook from cold.

My husband is STILL raving about this 3 days later.

Adapted from Taste Magazine

Ingredients

2kg gravy beef pieces
4-5 slices streaky bacon, diced
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups red wine
700ml tomato puree
3 or 4 rosemary sprigs
sea salt & cracked black pepper
olive oil
2 x 500g packets of gnocchi
40g plain flour
40g butter
1 cup milk
1 cup Greek yoghurt
120g tasty/mozzarella blend, divided

Method

In a large fry pan or pot with a lid, add a drizzle of olive oil and brown the chunks of beef in batches until caramelised on each side. Set aside.

gnocchi beef 1

Add a little more oil if you need it and cook the onion, bacon and garlic for a few minutes until golden. Add the red wine and allow to reduce slightly. Then add the tomato puree. Fill the tomato puree bottle up with water, shake it around and add that to the pan too. Add the beef back to the pan, season generously with salt and pepper and 95% cover with a lid. The heat should be really low so it’s just gently bubbling. Check on it every now and again and flip the pieces over if they’re sticking out at all. It should take around 3 hours for it to be falling apart tender with a fork. When it is, transfer the mixture to a large lasagne size baking dish and shred that meat up.

gnocchi beef 4

Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the gnocchi. It’s ready when the water returns to the boil, or they are all floating. Drain.

gnocchi beef 3

For the béchamel sauce melt the butter with the flour in a medium size pan. Cook, stirring for 1 minute. Remove from heat and slowly add the milk just a drizzle at a time and whisk between each addition so you don’t get lumps. When you’ve added all the milk, return to the heat and cook for a minute or two or until it’s nice and thick. Whisk in the yoghurt and add half the cheese mixture. Return to a gentle heat and keep stirring until the cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper.

gnocchi beef 2

Pre-heat oven to 180C/160C fan-forced/350F. Add the gnocchi to the meat mixture.Drizzle over the béchamel and scatter over the remaining cheese mixture.

gnocchi beef 5

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden.

gnocchi beef 6

Allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Slow Cooked Beef with Gnocchi and Yoghurt Bechamel

Ingredients

  • 2kg gravy beef (or casserole meat)
  • 4-5 slices streaky bacon, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 700ml tomato puree
  • 3 or 4 rosemary sprigs
  • sea salt & cracked black pepper
  • olive oil
  • 2 x 500g packets of gnocchi
  • 40g plain flour
  • 40g butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup Greek yoghurt
  • 120g tasty/mozzarella blend, divided

Instructions

  1. In a large fry pan or pot with a lid, add a drizzle of olive oil and brown the chunks of beef in batches until caramelised on each side. Set aside.
  2. Add a little more oil if you need it and cook the onion, bacon and garlic for a few minutes until golden. Add the red wine and allow to reduce slightly. Then add the tomato puree. Fill the tomato puree bottle up with water, shake it around and add that to the pan too. Add the beef back to the pan, season generously with salt and pepper and 95% cover with a lid. The heat should be really low so it's just gently bubbling. Check on it every now and again and flip the pieces over if they're sticking out at all. It should take around 3 hours for it to be falling apart tender with a fork. When it is, transfer the mixture to a large lasagne size baking dish and shred that meat up.
  3. Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the gnocchi. It's ready when the water returns to the boil, or they are all floating. Drain.
  4. For the béchamel sauce melt the butter with the flour in a medium size pan. Cook, stirring for 1 minute. Remove from heat and slowly add the milk just a drizzle at a time and whisk between each addition so you don't get lumps. When you've added all the milk, return to the heat and cook for a minute or two or until it's nice and thick. Whisk in the yoghurt and add half the cheese mixture. Return to a gentle heat and keep stirring until the cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Pre-heat oven to 180C/160C fan-forced/350F. Add the gnocchi to the meat mixture. Drizzle over the béchamel and scatter over the remaining cheese mixture. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving.
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Carolyn Murphy

Carolyn Murphy

Carolyn Murphy is a married mother of three and regularly provides us with recipes and strange but true stories about her life. When she’s not here, she can also be found on her website pinkpostitnote.com where all her other recipes are located!

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