Oxtail Ragu with Roasted Root Veg and Gremolata Oil. This decadently rich oxtail ragu is best served with gremolata oil and a decent shiraz. Let the culinary love flow.
2½ cups carrots, roughly chopped
2½ cups onion, roughly chopped
2½ cups celery, roughly chopped
1 bulb garlic, roughly chopped
12 sprigs fresh thyme
4 sprigs rosemary
3 bay leaves
1 cup port
1 cup red wine
1½ litres chicken stock
1 cup demi-glaze (reduced beef stock)
⅓ cup plum or quince paste (or similar)
2 cups Italian parsley leaves, finely minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 lemons, zest only, finely grated
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Roasted Root Veg
500g sweet potato
10 sprigs thyme
Preheat your oven to 150°C.
Place a couple of skillets or similar on the high heat. Trim the excess fat off the oxtail, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add a little cooking oil to the hot pans, then sear the oxtail until caramelised and place in a casserole dish.
Keep the pans on the heat and add chopped carrots, onion, celery and garlic. Cook for 5-10 minutes until the vegetables pick up some colour, then pour over the oxtail and toss in sprigs of fresh herbs and bay leaves.
Lastly pour over port, wine, chicken stock, demi-glaze, then add plum paste or similar for a little sweetness.
Put a lid on the top of the dish. Place the dish onto high heat for 5 minutes before placing in the oven. Cook for 3 hours. The oxtail is cooked when it pulls away from the bone with ease.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the oxtails from the cooking liquid and let them cool on a tray for 5 or so minutes before picking the meat of the bones. Reserve the picked oxtail and discard the bones.
Take the cooking liquid and pass through a sieve into a suitable sized saucepan. Discard the solids. Place on medium low heat, and start reducing the stock to a sauce like consistency while removing the fat and impurities that rise to the top.
Once you are happy with the consistency of the gravy, add the picked meat and remove from the heat. Keep warm if using immediately or refrigerate until required.
To make the gremolata oil, in a small bowl add parsley along with garlic and lemon zest. Stir in olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Hold or refrigerate until required.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place a couple of roasting trays in to heat up while you prep the veg.
Peel and cut celeriac, parsnip, sweet potato and pumpkin into manageable-sized batons. Place in a bowl along with thyme sprigs. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and oil liberally. Toss to combine then pour onto preheated roasting trays and place in the oven. Check after 15 minutes, then turn the vegetables with a spatula and cook for another 10.
To serve, divvy up the roasted vegetables on warm plates, spoon over generous amounts of the warm ragu then finish with the gremolata oil. Serve with salad and a loaf or two of crusty bread.