Oxtail ragu with pappardelle pasta

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

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.


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


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.




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.