A rich, flavourful oxtail ragù served with hand cut pappardelle & creamy burrata. Slow cooking the sauce turns a fairly inexpensive cut of beef into something special.

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oxtail ragu burrata

The Ragù

This rich, flavourful pasta sauce is made by slow cooking oxtail in red wine, lots of veggies & a loaf of fresh herbs. We’re also adding in a couple of bone marrows for extra beefy flavour.
Oxtail is a fairly inexpensive cut of beef & to get the most out of it, needs to be cooked for a good 3-4 hours. Once cooked, we pick the meat from the bones, blitz the cooking liquid up into a sauce then combine. An overnight chill in the fridge allows the flavours to develop further.

The Pasta

Pappardelle is one of my favourite types of pasta to make, mainly because of how easy it is to make. All that you need to do is make a pasta dough using 00 flour, whole eggs & yolks then roll it out using a pasta machine then cut into strips by hand. You could even make a big batch then store it in the freezer for use at a later date.

To Serve

I went with burrata to serve with the ragù because the creaminess really cuts through the rich beef ragù. These tend to be quite pricey so I’ve served each portion with half of one. Mozzarella or grated parmesan could also be used.

To reheat the ragù, we warm it gently in a pan then stir through a good amount of butter, the cooked pappardelle & a splash of pasta water to bring it all together. If you’ve got some fresh parsley kicking about, a small amount makes a nice finishing touch.

Equipment Used

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Oxtail Ragu, Pappardelle & Burrata

A rich, flavourful beef ragu served with hand cut pappardelle & creamy burrata. Slow cooking the sauce turns a fairly inexpensive cut of beef into something special.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time4 hours 50 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 People
Author: Ben Racey

Ingredients

Ragu

  • 1 kg Oxtail Jointed – Ask your butcher to do this
  • 2 Bone Marrow Canoes
  • 1 White Onion
  • 2 Carrots
  • 2 Sticks Celery
  • 5 Cloves Garlic Thinly Sliced
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 250 ml Red Wine
  • 800 g Tinned Tomatoes
  • 500 ml Beef Stock
  • Small Handful Thyme Sprigs
  • 2 Fresh Bay Leaves
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil

Pappardelle

  • 300 g "00" Flour
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 6 Egg Yolks

To Serve

  • 2 Burrata Cut in half
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • Olive Oil

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 200°c.
  • Place the bone marrow onto a roasting tray & season generously with salt & pepper. Roast in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, until cooked through.
  • Finely dice the onion, carrots & celery. Set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or casserole dish over a high heat.
    Pat the oxtail dry with kitchen roll, season heavily with salt & pepper then sear well on all sides. Once seared, take the oxtail out of the pan & set to one side.
  • Next, set the pan over a low heat. Add the diced vegetables & cook gently until soft & golden. This is called a soffritto & will take at least 20 minutes to cook. When the veg is cooked, add in the sliced garlic & cook for a further 3 minutes.
  • Next, move the pan over to a medium heat & deglaze with the tomato paste & red wine. Let the wine reduce for a couple of minutes then add the oxtail back to the pan.
    Scoop the bone marrow out of the bones & add both the marrow & bones to the ragu. Also add in the tomatoes, beef stock & herbs.
    Season with salt & pepper, cover the pan with a lid & bring to a gentle simmer.
  • Simmer the ragu for 3-4 hours, until the oxtail is soft & tender. You’ll know when it’s done as it will come away from the bone easily. Remove the oxtail from the sauce & set aside to cool slightly.
  • Now to finish the sauce.
    Discard any bones & herbs then bring the sauce to a boil & reduce until thick. This will take around 20 minutes. Check for seasoning, allow to cool slightly then blend in a jug blender (or with a stick blender) until smooth.
    Pick the meat off the oxtail (making sure to discard any fat or bones) then stir into the sauce. Allow to cool completely then refrigerate overnight.
  • Pasta.
    Place the flour, eggs & yolks into a food processor & pulse until a rough dough forms. Transfer dough to a work surface (a wooden chopping board is best) & knead until you have a smooth dough, this will take a good 20 minutes. Wrap in clingfilm & leave to rest in the fridge for at least an hour (overnight is best).
  • Take the dough out of the fridge & cut into 4 pieces.
    Take a piece of dough & using a pasta machine, roll out to the 3rd thinnest setting (on most machines this will be no.7), making sure to roll the dough through each setting twice. Cut the sheet of pasta into 4 equal pieces (each piece being around 20cm long).
  • To shape into pappardelle, dust a sheet of pasta with semolina then fold in half widthways. Fold the dough in half again then cut into 4 ribbons.
    Repeat with the rest of the pasta sheets then unroll the ribbons & arrange into a neat pile on a baking tray that has been dusted with semolina. This is one portion.
  • Repeat the above process with the remaining 3 pieces of dough. Cover the pasta tray with clingfilm until ready to cook.
  • To serve.
    In a large pan, heat up 2-3 tbsp of ragu per portion of pasta, stir in the butter & check the seasoning.
    Bring a large pan of salted water to a rolling boil & cook the pappardelle until just cooked, around 2 minutes.
    Using a pair of tongs, transfer the pasta to the hot ragu along with a ladle of pasta water. Gently stir together then transfer to warm pasta bowls. Top each portion with half a burrata (seasoned with Maldon salt & freshly cracked black pepper) & a drizzle of olive oil.

Notes

Cooking In An Aga.

Roast the bone marrow in the roasting oven, on the bottom set of runners.
Sear the oxtail on the boiling plate, cook the soffritto on the simmering plate then use the boiling plate to deglaze.
Cook the ragu on the floor of the simmering oven for 3-4 hours.
This recipe makes plenty of ragu, you’ll only need a couple of spoonful’s per portion. The ragu will keep for a couple of days in the fridge but I like to freeze the leftovers.
The bone marrow in the ragu is optional but makes a richer sauce.
You could also serve the pasta with grated parmesan instead of burrata.
Make sure to cook the diced veg in the ragu for long enough – at least 20 minutes. It will make the ragu taste better.

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