Cooler days bring out cravings for heartier fare, such as tender cuts of meat smothered in a spicy sauce or used as a rich pasta base.
BARBECUE T-BONE WITH RED PEPPER AND LEMON SALSA
4 x 400g-500g T-bone steaks
extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp coriander seeds, roasted and cracked
2 red capsicums
1 tsp small salted capers, washed
3 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 lemon, peeled, segmented and roughly chopped
1 lemon, juiced
100ml extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
To make the salsa, barbecue the red peppers until blackened on all sides, place in a bowl and cover with cling film. When cool enough to handle, peel the blackened skin off. Dice the peppers finely and place in a bowl, then add capers, parsley, lemon segments, lemon juice and olive oil, and season to taste. Mix the salsa well and allow to stand at room temperature.
Remove the steaks from the fridge two hours before you intend to start cooking and season liberally with sea salt.
Preheat the barbecue to hot. Rub the steaks with a little extra virgin olive oil and shake off any excess.
Place steaks on the grill at a 45-degree angle to the grill bars. When half-cooked (see Hot Tips at bottom of article), turn 45 degrees in the opposite direction. When done, turn them over and cook on the other side.
Put the steaks on a plate, cover with foil and keep near the barbecue so they stay warm. Rest for 10 minutes.
Place a T-bone on each plate and spoon the salsa over each. Sprinkle with cracked coriander seeds and serve.
OXTAIL RAGU WITH PAPPARDELLE PASTA
60g unsalted butter
60ml olive oil
1kg oxtail, cut by your butcher into
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
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.
* For a rare steak, allow about 6 to 7 minutes on each side depending on thickness; add a couple of minutes each side if you like your steak medium.
* Serve the T-bone with potato salad, or chips and a green salad.
* Finishing the capsicum in a bowl covered in cling film steams them, which loosens the skin and makes them more tender.
* I love the ragù with fresh gnocchi; it's also delicious in winter on cheesy, creamy polenta.
SOMETHING TO DRINK
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 ragù and pappardelle pasta.
For more Neil Perry recipes, go to goodfood.com.au
Photography by William Meppem. Styling by Hannah Meppem. Food preparation by Nick Banbury.