Pappardelle with oxtail ragu

Pappardelle with oxtail ragu

By
From
Spring
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Andy Sewell

I love to eat thick ribbon pasta with an unctuous rich-tasting sauce, such as this one. Flavour is extracted from the oxtail bone during cooking and the bone marrow lends a wonderful gloss and body. To me, this is the ultimate comfort food. The sauce can be made a couple of days ahead and tastes all the better for it. If you prefer, you can cook it in a low oven at 140°C, rather than on the hob, in a roasting tray, tightly covered with foil.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 quantity Making and shaping fresh pasta

For the ragu

Quantity Ingredient
1 oxtail, jointed into 6, (ask your butcher to do this)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 dried red chillies
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 bay leaves
3 thyme sprigs
3 rosemary sprigs
400ml full-bodied red wine
700g good quality jarred (or tinned) tomatoes, drained
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. For the ragu, place the pieces of oxtail in a large cooking pot, cover with cold water and bring to the boil over a high heat (this will help to remove any impurities). Immediately take off the heat, drain the oxtail and set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan (large enough to hold the oxtail) over a medium heat. Add the chopped vegetables and sweat for 5 minutes. Crumble in the chillies and add the garlic and herbs. Sweat over a gentle heat for a further 15 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the vegetables are softened, sweet and translucent.
  3. Turn up the heat to high, pour in the wine and add the tomatoes. Bring to the boil and add the blanched oxtail pieces, then immediately turn the heat down to low. Cover and cook, stirring from time to time, for 2½–3 hours until the meat is meltingly tender and falling from the bone. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  4. Once cool enough to handle, pick off any meat that is still attached to the bone and place in another pan; discard the bones. Pass the sauce and vegetables through a sieve onto the meat, pressing down with the back of a ladle to extract as much juice as possible; discard the residue in the sieve. Warm the meat and sauce through over a low heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning – it will need a good pinch of salt.
  5. To cook the pasta, bring a large pan of water to the boil, add salt, then the pasta and cook for 3½–4 minutes until al dente. Drain and serve with the ragu.
Tags:
Skye Gyngell
seasonal
Spring
London
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