Oxtail Bolognese

A Bolognese with mince is awesome. However a Bolognese with mince alongside a cut of slow cooked Oxtail takes the dish to a different level! The addition of oxtail gives massive flavour as it cooks low and slow as the marrow from the bones along with the gelatinous meat gives the dish greater depth of flavour. Its a great Saturday night comfort dish to be enjoyed with fragrant garlic bread and a robust bottle or two of red wine. The garlic bread adds another dimension and is one I strongly recommend you accompany this dish with, you will not be disappointed.

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For the garlic Bread:

  • 2 Shop Bought Ciabatta Loaves
  • 4 tbsp Salted Butter
  • 1/2 Onion Finely Sliced
  • 4 cloves Garlic crushed
  • 1 Good Pinch Parsley
  • 1 Good Pinch chives

For the bolognese

  • 1 Bag Pappardelle
  • 3 cuts of Oxtail
  • 1 Medium Packet of Mince
  • 1 x Medium Jar Passata
  • 1 x Packet Jubilee Tomatoes (4)
  • 4 Tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 5 Cloves Garlic Finely Sliced
  • 2 Large onions Finely Diced
  • 1 Large Bunch Basil
  • 600ml Water
  • 1 Large Glass Red Wine
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
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Garlic Bread:

Firstly finely chop the onion parsley and chives and crush the garlic. Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil until they take on a nice golden colour, season and set aside. Once cooled add the onion and garlic mix along with the parsley and chives to the butter and set aside until the bolognese is ready. Once you are ready to make the bread preheat the oven to 220ºc and bake the bread for 6 minutes. Slice the bread in half, spread the butter mix and cook under the grill until golden.

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Put a pan onto high heat with a 5 tablespoons of olive oil, brown the Oxtail on all sides remove and set aside. Next add the mince to the casserole dish and brown before adding the onions to soften. Add the Oxtail back into the pot and stir all the ingredients together.

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Pour in the red wine to deglaze the saucepan and reduce for 3 minutes.This step will ensure all the tasty caramelised bits add big flavour to the sauce.

At this stage things get easy. Add the passata, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, two stock cubes, 600ml of water (or more to cover if necessary) sugar,salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil then turn the heat down cock the lid and let it sit and reduce for 2 hours stirring occasionally. Be careful not to have the pan too hot as you don't want the bottom to burn or the dish will be ruined so keep an eye on it.

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Once reduced to your desired consistency remember the thicker and darker the sauce the more intense the flavour, remove the Oxtail and pick the meat off the bone. You will know if you have cooked it long enough as the meat will just peel away. Chop half the quantity of basil and add this into the bolognese along with the Oxtail and reduce if need be.

Cook the pasta in a large pan of salted water for 3 minutes until al dente then (using fresh pasta) remove and drain. I tend to dress the drained pasta with a drizzle of olive oil and lightly season.

Tip the pasta into a large serving dish, add the bolognese and dress with chopped basil, freshly grated parmesan and a splash of olive oil. Let your guests serve themselves not letting them forget about the Garlic bread.

Simple as that!


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