We serve oxtail in two forms at the restaurant – on the bone or stuffed. After braising we usually find that quite a lot of the meat has come away from the bone and is not ideal for serving as a whole piece, but it does make an excellent stuffing in ravioli or even tortellini. You will need a pasta machine to make this recipe.
Melt the butter with the oil in a heavy-based pan. Season the individual pieces of oxtail and lightly dust with the flour. Colour them in the butter and olive oil until browned all over. Lower the heat, add the vegetables, garlic and herbs, and continue to colour these. At this stage you could add a splash of water, firstly to lower the heat and secondly to emulsify all the fats and juices together.
When the vegetables are all golden in colour, add the honey and red wine, bring to the boil, cover with cold water, bring to the boil again, then cover and simmer gently for 2–2½ hours, or until the oxtail is tender – the meat should fall freely from the bone.
Take out and reserve the oxtail with about 200ml of the braising stock. Add the cream to the remaining stock and reduce until syrupy. Pick off the meat from the tail and put it back into the creamy sauce. Add Parmesan to taste and season again to taste with salt and pepper, and combine well. This is the filling for the ravioli – it shouldn’t be too heavy or over-reduced. At the last minute, add the parsley and leave to cool completely until set. Ideally, this should be done in the refrigerator.
To make the ravioli, in a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, eggs and extra yolks with just enough of the oil to make a paste. Leave to rest for about 30 minutes.
Roll the pasta out in the pasta machine on successively narrower settings until you get to the number 1 setting, producing a long pasta sheet about 2mm thick. Lay this out on a floured surface.
When the filling is completely cold, spoon pieces of it about the size of a 50p piece over one long half of the sheet of pasta, allowing a space of 2.5cm between each. Spray lightly with water, then carefully fold over the other half of the pasta sheet and seal well around the filling to make into individual ravioli, ensuring that as little air as possible is trapped in with the filling. To get rid of any air that is trapped, puncture the pasta with a pin, press out the air and pinch the hole closed.
Cut between the mounds of filling with a pastry wheel or sharp knife to make the individual ravioli. Ideally cook them straight away to prevent them drying out.
(If you are unable to cook at that time or want to pre-prepare, blanch the ravioli briefly, refresh in cold water to cool them right down, drain well and toss in a little olive oil; they may then be kept in the fridge for a day or so before cooking.)
To cook them, bring a large pan of water to the boil, add salt and then plunge the ravioli into it for 3–5 minutes, until the pasta is al dente and the filling warm. Remove with a slotted spoon and toss in a little olive oil with seasoning to taste.
Serve with a little of the reserved beef sauce, some greens and grated Parmesan.
© 2008 Anthony Demetre. All rights reserved.