Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Beef & Cheese Ravioli in Brown Butter Sauce

First off, I realize that these are not "Ravioli, proper", but being that I don't have a pasta roller, getting nice square ravioli are nearly impossible. I've made them square before and they come out "rustic" at best and take a long time to prepare. They are still pretty good, but for the sake of uniformity and ease, I've decided to post the "asian" way of making dumplings, which is what ravioli are.

I can make them much faster and ultimately they turn out great, so I recommend doing it this way if you don't have a pasta machine. 

The basic recipe is really simple and comes together quick. Physically making the ravioli takes some time, but it's not that big of a deal.

This is the first time I've made beef filled ravioli. I made the "classic" ricotta filled once with red sauce and they turned out great. I'll post it the next time I make it for sure. This time I just used leftover ground beef from the freezer in an attempt to save some money on new ingredients. 

We'll be making the filling, then the pasta, then forming the pasta, then making the sauce. 

I know it sounds like a pain, but I assure you. It's not that tough. 

Beef & Cheese Ravioli in Brown Butter Sauce

FILLING (inspired from here)
1/2 pound ground beef
4-5 sprigs of fresh oregano, minced
4-5 sprigs of fresh parsley, minced
1/4 of an onion, diced
1 medium carrot, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 cup of beef broth
1/4 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
salt & pepper
1 egg

200g of flour
2 eggs
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup of butter
splash of white wine
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped


I began with the filling. You can do this way ahead of time if you need to. Just store it in the fridge until you are ready to make the ravioli.

Get your ground beef in a pan. I put a little butter in the pan for lube. (This was just a preformed hamburger patty leftover)

Once it's browned, add your onion.

Let it cook for about 3-4 minutes then add the carrot. I used baby carrots. 

Let that cook 3-4 minutes and add the garlic.

Give it a stir and add the beef broth and half of your oregano and parsley. The total amount isn't that big of a deal.

Cook the beef over high heat until the liquid evaporates. 

Strain the mix and make sure you get as much of the liquid out of it as you can. 

Put the mixture in a food processor (you can just do it in a bowl if you don't have one, but the food processor gives it a nice, fine texture).

Add the cheese and the rest of the oregano and parsley. 

Give it a few pulses and scrape down the sides as needed. 

Add the egg and pulse a few times more.

Put the filling aside until you're ready to make the ravioli.


Now we'll make the pasta. 

I haven't made any updates on my pasta making technique since I first made it, so I'll just post the steps here again.

Get 200g of flour and make a well for the eggs in the middle.

Add the salt and oil to the eggs.   

Whisk the eggs with a fork, slowly incorporating flour from the edges as you go until the middle resembles pancake batter.

Fold in the flour onto the egg center and begin to combine everything.

I use a dough blade and my hands to get the sticky bits off the counter.

Once it comes reasonably together start a timer for 10 minutes. Seriously. You need to create gluten. It has to be done. It's your workout for the day.

Once you're time is up, cut the cough in half and let it rest for 20 minutes.

I like to fold in the sides to make a rough rectangle. It rolls better for me for some reason.

Roll out the dough as thin as you can. Note that you can see the counter through it. It needs to be as thin as you can get it. 

I used a cup (3.5" diameter) to punch out circles. Much like cutting biscuits, you want to press down, then give it a twist to cut the shape. This would be super easy with a metal ring. Plastic is dull.

Continue for the rest of the dough. 

Unfortunately it's near impossible to re-roll this dough. I keep it and cut it "free-form" and serve it to my daughter for lunch. She loves noodles and doesn't care if they're pretty.

I ended up with nearly 40 rounds. 

Act fast as they will dry out fast. You can throw them into a ziplock bag with a moist paper towel to help them keep longer while you work, just don't let the paper towel touch the pasta.

To make the ravioli, you do it just like making gyoza or potstickers.

Get a teaspoon and slightly overfill it with filling.

Place on the center of the pasta.

Wet the edge with water (you can use egg wash, but I never need to) and fold it over. 

Make sure you press all the air out of the center or it'll burst when cooking.

Continue for the rest. You can do 4-8 at a time if you work fast. Makes it go by much quicker.

Freeze them or stash them in the fridge until service.


When you're ready for dinner get a pot of water on the boil.

 Go ahead and roughly cut up some thyme.

Put 1/2 a stick of butter on med/high heat.

Once it melts, get your ravioli in the water. Make sure they don't stick to the bottom. They're pretty fragile.

The ravioli are done when they float to the surface and look considerably swelled.

Floating but not done.
Floating and Swelled. Done.
 After the butter melts, it'll foam up. Let that pass and it'll deepen in color a bit. 

Once the butter has darkened, add the wine and thyme.

Give it a quick stir and get ready to add the ravioli.

I fit about 12 in each batch. 

Let them cook for a bit and give them a flip. You are looking for a little color on the bottom, but not too crisp.

Give them a toss and serve.

Continue with the rest of the ravioli if you're hungry. We ate them all.

Overall the meal was pretty good. Serve with a salad or something to cut the richness of the butter. 

This preparation ended up really highlighting the filling, which I thought was excellent.

Not too fussy and really satisfying.




  1. how did this reheat (assuming you had any leftovers)

  2. You know, I didn't have any leftover but I think you could either reheat in a small pan or in the microwave. Either way, maybe add a splash of chicken or beef broth (or water) just to loosen up the butter sauce that'll be coagulated.


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