Oxtail ragu with pappardelle pasta

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Oxtail makes a lovely, thick and meaty sauce for this pasta dish - perfect for a chilly evening. Alternatively, serve the ragu with fresh gnocchi; it's also delicious in winter on cheesy, creamy polenta.

Oxtail ragu makes a lovely sauce for pappardelle pasta.
Oxtail ragu makes a lovely sauce for pappardelle pasta. Photo: William Meppem

Ingredients

60g unsalted butter

60ml olive oil

1kg oxtail, cut by your butcher into 5cm chunks

2 rashers bacon, finely chopped

1 celery stalk, finely diced

1 carrot, peeled and finely diced

1 small brown onion, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

500ml full-bodied red wine

2 x 400g cans Italian tomatoes, chopped, juice reserved

1 cup chicken stock

400g dried pappardelle

parmesan, to serve

Method

Heat a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat and add the butter and olive oil. When melted, add the oxtail pieces, bacon, celery, carrot, onion, garlic and a little sea salt. Stir over a low heat for 15 minutes until the meat is lightly browned. Increase the heat, add the red wine and simmer for about 10 minutes or until reduced by half.

Stir in the tomatoes, the tomato juice and chicken stock, and simmer, covered, for about 2 hours, or until the oxtail is completely tender. Remove the oxtail and when it has cooled sufficiently pull the meat off, discarding the bones. Place the meat back in the sauce. Check the seasoning and add a grind of pepper.

Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for about 8 minutes or until al dente. Drain and combine with the oxtail ragù. Gently toss together.

Using a pair of tongs, divide the pasta among four bowls. Spoon over the remaining sauce and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan.

 

 

SOMETHING TO DRINK

Barbera d'Alba

The varietal of Barbera offers hints of raspberry and maraschino cherry with a nice touch of spice and floral notes. The 2011 Pio Cesare ($29) is a medium-bodied red with a lovely rounded tannin - a classic match with ragu and pappardelle pasta.

 

Photography by William Meppem. Styling by Hannah Meppem. Food preparation by Nick Banbury.

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  • Main Ingredients - Pasta, Beef
  • Cuisine - Italian
  • Course - Main-course, Dinner
  • Occasion - Family meals, Dinner Party

2 reviews so far

  • It's nigh-impossible to coax the tenderness required for a ragu from oxtail with a mere two hours on a stovetop. Consider adding an extra hour of simmering until the meat is falling off the bone, or perhaps incorporating a pressure cooker if time is in short supply.

    Commenter
    Isambard Sinclair
    Date and time
    April 07, 2014, 10:02AM
    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      I'm seconding Mr Sinclair above.

      Cooked this dish last night. There's no denying that there is amazing flavor to be had with this recipe. However, there is simply no way that 2 hours of stove-top simmering is going to produce ragu from oxtail. There is so much connective tissue welding the meat to the oxtail bones that I needed 4 hours to achieve the required "fall off the bone" result.

      Ultimately, the flavor is magnificent - but be warned: this is not a weeknight dish.

      I would love an explanation from GoodFood (or Mr Perry himself) as to this very significant underestimation of time.

      Commenter
      D-Mouse
      Location
      Date and time
      April 17, 2014, 8:59AM

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