Oxtail Ragu

Adapted from Mario Batali, The Babbo Cookbook

Makes 6 servings


  • 5 pounds of oxtail, cut into two inch pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Flour, for dredging
  • 2 medium onions, slice 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 carrot, finely shredded
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups red wine
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 cups simple red sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • Pecorino Romano or Reggiano Parmigiano



Step 1:  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
Step 2: Trim the excess fat from the oxtails and season liberally with salt and pepper.
Step 3: In a 8 quart, heavy-bottomed casserole or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over high heat until it is just smoking. Quickly dredge the oxtail in the flour and sear on all sides until browned, turning with long handled tongs.  Remove the browned oxtail to a plate and set aside.
Step 4: Add the onions, garlic, and shredded carrots to the same pan, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Cook until onions are slightly browned.  
Step 5: Add the wine, chicken stock, simple red sauce and thyme, and bring the mixture to a boil.  Return the oxtails to the pot, submerging them in the liquid, and return the pot to a boil.  Cover and cook in the oven for 2 to 2-1/2 hours, or until the meat is falling off the bone.
Step 6: Remove the pan from the oven and carefully remove the oxtails with long handled tongs.  When they are cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and shred into small pieces with a fork.  Discard the bones.  
Step 7: With a small ladle, skim the fat from the surface of the sauce.  Return the shredded meat to the pot.  Place over medium high heat, bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and allow the sauce to reduce to a very thick ragú.  Season with salt and pepper.
Step 8: In a sauté pan, heat about 3 cups of the ragú.  Add gnocchi or your pasta of choice and toss very gently over medium heat until the gnocchi or pasta is coated with the ragú. 
Step 9: Grate the Pecorino or parmesan over each plate.  Serve immediately

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