Sunday, May 17, 2009

Oxtail Lasagne. Oh. My. God.

This is one of those 'blue moon' recipes. It's fiddly, it's messy, it takes hours to cook but Oh. My. God. This has to be right up there with my favourite recipes of all time. A twist on traditional lasagne, it's so rich and luxurious - the ultimate comfort food. You must try this at least once in your life.

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 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
  1. 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.
  2. Add pancetta, onions, carrot, celery and garlic to pan and cook for 15 minutes or until pancetta and vegetables are soft, add tomato paste.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden. Serves 8.
Source: Gourmet Traveller


Amy Sheaves said...

This is generally how I cook lasagne - the mince here is crap, so I slow cook a piece of beef until it melts away into glorious strands. As for the besciamella....ever since I found this delightful way of cooking a white sauce I have never turned back! The way the onion flavour seeps into the sauce is amazing!!! Love it. Love it. Love it.

Have you ever read Buon Appetito written by The National Italian-Australian Womens Association? It is a treasure of regional italian recipes written in both english and italian. It is an amazing book, probably my most favourite italian cookbook. If you ever come across it, you should grab it.

PS...As an extra treat, I add buffalo mozzarella to the b├ęchamel sauce. Soooo good. Great for winter!

Anonymous said...

Could I swap ox tail for a beef cut instead? It does sound lovely though..I've never made anything that is so complex. Sounds like a challenge for me that I'd like to try.

Iris said...

Wow. You make me wish I still ate meat (I was once a biiiig fan of all things offal)! ;-)

bugmum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bugmum said...

Amy, haven't seen that book but will defo look it up. I adore Italian food...

sparsely kate, I have to say I was a bit apprehensive about the oxtail, having never tried it, but it's amazing. It has a 'stickiness' because of its high fat content that other cuts don't have. However, Jamie Oliver does a similar kind of recipe with slow cooked meat (see here - so I think shoulder or a similar cut of beef would work.

Iris, I have much respect for you. I could never go vego - too much of a carnivore...

Bells said...

well that sounds quite spectacular. I've never heard of doing anything with oxtail other than soup or stew. This is on my MUST DO list. Thank you. I'm intrigued.

NayLahKnee - Wifey said...

I have never heard of oxtail this sounds good!

Paula said...

This looks fantastic. I love oxtail ragu with gnocchi and imagine this being even better. Plus my other half has a serious lasagne weak spot.

Rory Edwards said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rory Edwards said...

Why was my comment removed? I was just asking a question about the recipe..