Ravioli à la Monégasque
serves: serves 8-12 as a main course
I am back with another one of our Thanksgiving recipes!
Here is a little recap of our Chez Nous Dinners style Thanksgiving! I have never quite got along with the traditional Thanksgiving menu though. For me, the holiday is an opportunity to invite all of my international friends and family over to create our own traditions. Most folks our age go to visit their families for the holiday, however, most of our international friends don’t get to participate. The holiday is an American tradition, and a 4 day weekend is generally too short to warrant a $1000 flight home. In come the Russians. My parents and I have made our own tradition of inviting folks over to share the holiday with us…our style. And since Nico and I moved to out new home with our big kitchen, we have been hosting our International Thanksgivings.
I was never a huge fan of turkey, so I generally prefer to make a big lamb roast. This year, I wanted to make a whole baby goat or lamb! My friend Anwar looked for one for me, and in the end sold me an entire half of a full grown goat, which made a beautiful roast! Stay tuned for my Whole Roast Goat recipe in the coming days!
As friends started to RSVP, I learned that some folks aren’t into lamb and goat, so I decided to add a beef dish. Nico gave me an amazing encyclopedia of French cookery for my birthday! He gave me Alain Ducasse’s Grand Livre de Cuisine, and it is amazing! However…everything is in French, so I have been slowly translating it. I spent most of my recent jury duty day translating these recipes, searching, rather unsuccessfully for a recipe that did not call for something exceptionally expensive like lobster, scallops, white truffles, or foie gras. That is when I found our beef dish. I came across his Ravioli à la monégasque recipe and was hooked!
Monégasque means of Monaco, and it appears that this is a variation of one of Monaco’s national dishes. A ravioli filled with chard, spinach, cheeses, and a bit of lamb’s brain (because why wouldn’t you?) is served on top of a stew of beef braised in red wine with carrots and herbs, very much like a Boeuf Bourguignon.
If you are feeling squeamish about the brain, I am sure you can omit it. Perhaps add in some other innards, or a tiny bit of bacon or porchetta, or omit it all together. The melding of the chard and cheesy filling with the beef stew is the real star of the show!
Learn from my mistakes and separate your raviolis with some parchment paper if you are not cooking them right away, because they will stick to each other after a few hours and you will be forced to peel them off of each other while cursing under your breath. The stew can be prepared a day or two ahead, as can the ravioli, just wait to cook them until serving.
As people RSVPd, we had more dietary restrictions, so we also served a gorgeous Lobster dish! I was leafing through Alain Ducasse’s book and came across this combination of lobster and fresh truffle, perfect for our fish eaters. I loved a lot of Ducasse’s recipe and was inspired by his flavor profile, but have simplified this recipe to make it easier for the home cook. Check out our Lobster and Summer Truffle Spaghetti recipe here!
We finished our meal with a beautiful trifecta of desserts! We served our favorite Cannelés Bordelais, a traditional Russian Smetannik, and my single bow to American flavors, a Cranberry Custard Tart. Stay tuned for all of those recipes later this week!
- 4 1/2 pound beef shin or other meat, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 bottle of dry red wine
- 5 large carrots, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 8 teaspoons beef stock concentrate
- 2 tomatoes, quartered
- 1 bouquet garnis (oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage)
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 1/4 cups 00 flour
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 egg
- 1/2 lamb brain (optional)
- 5 ounces grated Parmesan
- 3 ounces ricotta
- 2 eggs
- 1 pound chard
- 1 pound spinach
- 1/2 bunch parsley
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- glug of olvie oil
- 1/2 cup slivered Parmesan
- Brown the meat on all sides in oil.
Add aromatics and sweat for 3/5 minutes.
- Deglaze with wine and allow wine to evaporate by about a third. 20 minutes of simmering or so.
- Add the stock concentrate and 5-6 cups water, enough to fill your Dutch oven.
Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer.
Simmer for about 2 hours until the liquid has reduced at least by half and the meat breaks apart into bits easily.
- Strain and reserve the meats.
- Season the strained liquid with salt and pepper.
Break up the pieces of meat and add them back into the stew. Set aside until ready to serve.
- Boil the chard and spinach a few minutes, drain and discard liquid.
- Blend the spinach and chard. Add in parsley and brain and blend until consistent.
- Add the remaining ingredients and blend until paste forms. Season with salt and pepper.
- Combine the flour, olive oil, egg, and enough water to make a ball.
Rest for 1 hour.
- Roll out into thin sheets. There is too much oil in there to use a pasta roller, so it works better to roll out by hand, and it comes out thinner!
- Place 1 tablespoon of filling every 3 inches, spray with some water and seal with more dough. Use a round cutter for prettiest results.
- Boil water. Cook each ravioli 3-4 minutes. I did 3 batches to fit them all into my stock pot.
- Roll the ravioli in butter and olive oil once cooked and place on top of the warmed stew in a serving platter.
- Sprinkle slices of Parmesan on top to serve.