Serve the lasagne with a green salad simply dressed with some olive oil, white balsamic, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper...the zingy acidity cuts the richness really well. And forget about dessert...you won't have room after this!
what you need
60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
1.5 kg oxtail, cut into pieces at joints, rinsed and drained
150 gm flat pancetta, finely chopped
2 each onions, carrots, celery stalks with leaves and garlic cloves, all finely chopped
140 gm tomato paste
400 gm canned tomatoes
1 litre (4 cups) beef stock
250 ml (1 cup) red wine
60 ml (¼ cup) vinocotto
2 tbsp brown sugar, or to taste
6 sheets fresh pasta, or 8 of dried pasta
80 gm (1 cup) finely grated parmesan
1 white onion, cut into wedges
1 tsp whole cloves
1 fresh bay leaf
1.25 litres (5 cups) milk
100 gm each butter and plain flour
what to do
- Preheat oven to 160C. Heat olive oil in a casserole over medium heat, cook oxtail in batches for 10-15 minutes or until browned. Remove and keep warm.
- Add pancetta, onions, carrot, celery and garlic to pan and cook for 15 minutes or until pancetta and vegetables are soft, add tomato paste.
- Return oxtail to casserole, add tomatoes, stock, wine, vincotto and season to taste with sugar, sea salt and ground pepper. Cover and cook in oven for 4 hours or until meat is falling off the bone, cool and skim fat from surface.
- Shred meat, discarding bones. Place meat and sauce in a saucepan over medium heat, bring to boil. Reduce heat, simmer until sauce is reduced to about 6 cups. Keep warm.
- For besciamella, combine onion, cloves, bay leaf and milk in a saucepan over medium heat, bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain and keep warm.
- Melt butter in a heavy-based saucepan, add flour and stir over medium heat for 1 minute until combined and starting to colour. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in milk until combined. Return pan to low heat and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until sauce coats the back of a wooden spoon. Season to taste.
- Increase oven to 180C. Spread a third of oxtail sauce over base of 2 litre-capacity ovenproof dish, then spread a third of besciamella and a third of parmesan and top with 3 overlapping pasta sheets, trimming to fit. Repeat, then top with remaining sauce, besciamella and scatter with parmesan.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until golden. Serves 8.