These Stout Braised Short Ribs over Potato Gnocchi with Irish Cheese Sauce make an impressive restaurant-style meal you can make right at home! Soft, pillowy homemade gnocchi drenched in a rich cheese sauce and topped with melt-in-your-mouth tender short ribs slowly braised in a dark and creamy stout. Now that is a meal I can get behind!
If you are feeling like pasta might just need a timeout, this stout braised short ribs over potato gnocchi with Irish cheese sauce recipe is for you! I know, that’s a mouthful…but a good one at that. 😉
This recipe has three different components, but they’re all deceivingly easy to make! Gnocchi and braised meat both can feel intimidating to make at home but with a few basic ingredients and this recipe, you can trick everyone into thinking you’re a trained chef.
This meal will definitely make you feel like you’re dining at a fancy restaurant.
What you need to make this recipe
For the potato gnocchi
- Potatoes – I use Idaho Russet potatoes. They’re starchier than other types of potatoes which gives the gnocchi better structure.
- Salt and Pepper
- Egg Yolks – the egg yolks are what bind the ingredients together so the gnocchi can hold its shape.
- Flour – you’ll need anywhere from 1½ -2 cups of flour. Be sure to add ½ cup at a time just until you create a dough. After that, no more is needed. If you add too much flour, the gnocchi won’t hold their shape.
For the braised short ribs
- Short Ribs – I use bone-in short ribs for a more tender texture.
- Salt and Pepper
- Olive Oil
- Yellow Onion and Garlic – sautéed in the olive oil to create an aromatic flavor base for the cooking liquid.
- Tomato Paste, Oatmeal Stout, and Beef Broth – the base of the cooking liquid needed to braise the short ribs. These three ingredients give the short ribs so much flavor!
- Carrots – peel and chop the carrots into 1” chunks to serve over top the gnocchi.
- Bay Leaf
- Fresh Thyme
For the Irish cheese sauce
- Butter and Flour – whisked together to create a roux that helps thicken the sauce.
- Stout Beer and Milk – the base for the Irish cheese sauce.
- Dijon Mustard – adds a kick of spice to cut the richness from the cheese.
- Cheese – I use a combination of Dubliner and Gouda cheese which add rich, nutty flavors and create an ultra-creamy sauce.
- Salt and Pepper – added to taste.
How to make
This recipe looks like a lot, but it actually comes together super quickly with minimal hands-on time!
For the gnocchi
Pierce the potatoes, wrap them in foil, and bake for 1 hour. Allow them to cool then peel and rice or mash.
Add the egg yolks to the potatoes and season with salt. Mix to combine, then start working in the flour, ½ cup at a time.
Grab a fist full of dough and roll it out onto a clean, floured surface into ¾” long tubes. Use a pastry cutter to divide the dough into 1” pillows. Arrange the cut gnocchi on a baking sheet, sprinkle with more flour, then cover as you finish out the rest of the dough.
To cook the gnocchi, bring salted water to a boil, reduce to a simmer, then add the gnocchi to the water. Cook for 4 minutes then drain and toss with butter or oil.
For the stout braised short ribs
Season the short ribs with salt on all sides and heat a large Dutch oven or braising dish over medium-high heat. Add oil then add in the short ribs and brown for 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
Reduce the heat to medium, add in the onion, and cook for 8-10 minutes. Add garlic, cook for another 30 seconds, then add the tomato paste, stout, broth, carrots, bay leaf, and thyme.
Arrange the short ribs over the bones, pour any juices back into the pan, then cover and cook in the oven at 300ºF for 2 to 3 hours, rotating the pan every hour. Dispose of the bones, bay leaf, and thyme and rest before serving.
For the Irish cheese sauce
Melt butter over medium heat, then add in the shallot. Cook for 5-7 minutes and season with salt. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes before adding in the stout. Whisk constantly so no clumps form. Stir in Dijon mustard and milk, then reduce the heat.
A little at a time, add in the cheese, stirring until melted. Season with salt, pepper, and minced thyme.
Toss the gnocchi with the cheese sauce, ladle into serving dishes, then set short ribs and carrots over the center of each. Garnish with fresh thyme, salt, and pepper, then serve!
How to buy short ribs
I usually go for bone-in English-style short ribs. English-style ribs are cut parallel to the bone so they hold up nicely during a longer cook time. Additionally, bone-in short ribs cook more evenly and have better flavor.
You can also buy boneless if you prefer that, although the flavor and texture won’t be quite as delicious.
Can you use any potato for gnocchi?
In theory, yes, but I definitely find that Idaho Russets work best. They have a higher starch content and less moisture which helps the gnocchi hold their shape.
If you can’t find Russet potatoes, Yukon gold is another great option.
How do you know when gnocchi is cooked?
You’ll know the gnocchi is done cooking when they float to the surface of the water. This will only take 3-4 minutes, so stay close by so you can take them out right away. Over-cooked gnocchi is gummy.
I served these stout braised short ribs and potato gnocchi with Irish cheese sauce next to a wedge of oven-roasted cabbage which really rounded out what was an already decadent meal.
You could also serve this next to a side of steamed broccoli or roasted green beans.
Can you prep this recipe ahead of time?
Yes! To get ahead on this recipe, you can prep the gnocchi ahead of time and store it in the freezer. Here’s how:
- Assemble as directed and arrange the cut gnocchi on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with flour.
- Place the baking sheet with the gnocchi into the freezer and flash freeze until the gnocchi is hard.
- Once the gnocchi is fully frozen, transfer it to an airtight container and freeze it for up to 6 weeks.
- When you’re ready to cook it, simply boil it as instructed.
How to store
Leftover cooked gnocchi is best right away but will last for up to 2 days in the fridge. To reheat, place in an oven-safe dish and bake at 350ºF for 10-15 minutes or until heated through. If the cheese sauce has thickened too much, you can add a splash of milk to thin it out.
Leftover braised short ribs will last for up to 3 days in the fridge or 3-4 months in the freezer. To reheat, thaw in the fridge if frozen, then microwave or warm on the stove until heated through.
More short rib inspiration
- Bourbon Braised Short Ribs with Honey and Fig Mac and Cheese
- Braised Short Ribs over Sweet Potato Puree
- Short Rib Burger with Lemongrass Slaw
Tools used in this post
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Stout Braised Short Ribs with Potato Gnocchi and Irish Cheese Sauce
- dutch oven
For the Potato Gnocchi
- 4 large Idaho® Potatoes russet potatoes scrubbed
- salt and pepper
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 ½ – 2 cups flour
For the Braised Short Ribs
- 4 lbs bone in short ribs bone separated from meat
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion sliced
- 7 cloves garlic smashed and skins removed
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup oatmeal stout or other stout or choice
- 1 cup beef broth
- 3 large carrots peeled and chopped into 1”
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
For the Irish Cheese Sauce
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- ½ shallot minced
- ¾ cup stout beer
- 1 ¾ cup milk
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 4 oz sharp cheddar shredded
- 4 oz Dubliner or other Irish cheese shredded
- 4 oz gouda or milk smoked whiskey cheese, shredded
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Gnocchi
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Pierce the potatoes, wrap in foil and bake for 1 hour, until tender.
- Allow the potatoes to cool until able to safely handed. Peel and rice or mash the potatoes.
- Work in the 2 egg yolks and season with salt. Mix to combine.
- Gently, start working in the flour, ½ cup at a time, to make a dough. Use caution to not overwork the dough, as gnocchi should be tender and light.
- Grab a fist full of dough and cover the mass of dough you aren’t working with a clean kitchen towel.
- On a clean, lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into ¾” long tubes (or snakes).
- Using a pastry cutter, divide the dough equally into 1” pillows.
- Gently press each of the gnocchi with the tines of a fork, if desired.
- Arrange the cut gnocchi onto a baking sheet, sprinkle with just a touch more of flour and cover as you work your way through the remainder of the dough. (At this point, you can transfer the gnocchi for freezing if desired by par freezing on the baking sheet before storing in a resealable airtight container for future use).
- Bring a large pot of salted water and reduce to a simmer.
- Gently slide the gnocchi into the simmering water and cook 3 to 4 minutes, until the gnocchi float freely on the surface.
- Drain and toss the gnocchi in a bit of butter or oil until ready to toss them with the following cheese sauce.
For the Stout Braised Short Ribs
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- Season the short ribs with salt on all sides. Heat a large Dutch oven or braising dish, over medium-high heat. Add the oil to coat the pan.
- Arrange the short ribs in, they should immediately start to make a sizzling noise, and allow to brown on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
- Transfer to a plate and reduce heat to medium.
- Add the onion to the pan and allow to soften and brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add in the garlic and cook 30 seconds.
- Add the tomato paste, stirring to coat everything and cook 1 minute.
- Slowly whisk in the stout, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan as needed. Allow to simmer 1 to 2 minutes
- Pour in the beef broth, add the carrots, bay leaf and thyme. Arrange the short ribs over the bones, and any accumulated juices, back into the pan and cover.
- Place in the preheated oven and cook for 2 to 3 hours, rotating the covered pan every hour.
- Dispose of the bones, bay leaf, and cooked thyme. Allow to rest before serving.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste
For the Irish Cheese Sauce
- In a heavy bottomed pan, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the shallot, and cook, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt.
- Whisk in the flour and cook 1 to 2 minutes, whisking.
- Slowly, whisk in the stout, making sure no clumps form to make your roux.
- Stir in the Dijon mustard.
- Add the milk and keep stirring. Reduce the heat to medium low.
- A little at a time, stir in the cheese until melted.
- Season, to taste, with additional salt and pepper and fresh minced thyme.
- Toss the gnocchi in the Irish cheese sauce to coat.
- Ladle into serving dishes and set short ribs and braised carrots over the center of each.
- Garnish, if desired with fresh thyme, salt and pepper.
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Oh it’s been too long since I’ve had short ribs and this sound insanely good. All the savory comforts in one bowl.