29 December 2009

Gnocchi with Venison/Lamb Bolognese

For Christmas, I received a meat grinder attachment for the KitchenAid Mixer and a Gnocchi rolling pin. And it just so happens, I have a freezer full of venison and some leftover lamb. So, I ground them up and with a lot of patience and Forrest's help made a yummy dinner! I made up the Bolognese as I went along, so the measurements aren't exact....

2 tbsp evoo
1 cup carrots, sliced using Cuisinart food processor
1 lb ground venison and lamb
2 cloves minced garlic
2 cans diced tomatoes, drained
6 oz. tomato paste
1 cup basil
1 tsp oregano
2 bay leaves
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup dry red wine

Heat oil in dutch oven over medium heat. Add carrots, meat, and garlic and sauté until lightly browned. Meanwhile, crush basil and tomatoes (I also used the grinder attachment for this). Add remaining ingredients to meat mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer at least 1 hour. Add salt and pepper to taste.

adapted from Williams Sonoma Pasta

3 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 large eggs
1 tsp kosher salt
2-3 cups all purpose flour

Boil potatoes until tender. Drain and cool potatoes. Rice the potatoes using either a ricer, food mill, or mashing thoroughly. Allow potatoes to cool completely (this is VERY important! It allows the excess moisture to evaporate, so that the potatoes are as dry as possible).

Break the eggs into a bowl, add salt, and beat lightly. Drizzle egg mixture over cooled potatoes. Sprinkle 1 cup of flour over potatoes. Using a bench scraper, fold the flour and egg into the potatoes until a dough forms. Sprinkle 1/4 cup flour over work surface and continue folding in flour until the dough reaches consistency. Roll the dough into a 1 inch log and cut into 1/2 inch pieces.

Drop the dough once piece at a time into boiling water. Allow to boil until gnocchi rises to the surface, about 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

** Freeze any extra dough in gnocchi shape on sheet pans.