Rustic Italian Food: [A Cookbook] / Vetri, Marc

Featured Recipe: Semolina Gnocchi with Oxtail Ragù

Makes: 6 servings

Oxtail Ragù
21/2 pounds oxtail, trimmed of fat
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Tipo 00 or all-purpose flour for dusting
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or olive oil
1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 large ribs celery, coarsely chopped
3 peeled plum tomatoes (canned are fine, preferably San Marzano)
1 cup dry red wine
3 to 4 cups beef stock or water
Sachet: 1 rosemary sprig, 5 flat-leaf parsley sprigs, 5 black peppercorns, 1 bay leaf, 1 smashed clove garlic, tied in a cheesecloth square

For the ragù: Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Season the oxtail with salt and pepper, then dust with flour. Heat the oil in a large roasting pan over medium-high heat. Add the oxtail and sear until browned all over, 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove the meat from the pan and add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook until lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine, stirring to dissolve the browned bits on the pan bottom. Return the meat to the pan and cook until the liquid reduces in volume by about half, 5 minutes. Add enough stock to come two-thirds of the way up the meat. Sink the sachet into the pan, cover, and cook in the oven until the meat pulls off the bone easily, 21/2 to 3 hours.

Remove the meat and sachet from the pan, then pass the sauce through a food mill or blend briefly in a food processor.

Pick all the meat from the bones (discarding any large chunks of fat) and return the meat to the sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

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