Cooking is a wonderful creative process for me. I love spending time in the kitchen creating something out of raw ingredients. Imagining something in my mind and bringing it to life to share with family and friends. Food can be symbolic of ones past, a favourite dish from childhood or a memory of a country once visited. Food brings people together around a table, thoughts are shared, arguments are had, ideas are exchanged and maybe even secrets shared. There is much more to food than simply eating and feeding hunger. It is a central source of my inspiration, I love recipes from faraway places. I enjoy using different ingredients and experiencing flavour. I'm always searching through books or magazines for my next food adventure. With that in mind, Gary and I decided to combine our passions and here is the result, braised oxtail with orecchiette pasta.
100ml olive oil
2kg oxtail pieces
100g unsalted butter
300g mirepoix (1 each celery stalk, carrot and onion finely chopped)
1/2 bunch thyme
2 fresh bay leaves
1 tsp white peppercorns
2 roma tomatoes, quartered
2L(8 cups)red wine
4 carrots, thinly sliced
Freshly ground white pepper(I finely grated)
Flat-leaf parsley, leaves very thinly sliced to garnish
Heat 75ml oil over high heat and add oxtail in batches cooking
until browned on all sides.
Melt butter, in the same pan, add the mirepoix and cook,
stirring, until golden.
Return oxtail to pan with thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns,
tomato and wine. Bring to the boil and then reduce
to barely simmering.
Cover and continue to cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until
meat is falling from the bones.
Allow to cool then remove meat from bones and keep separate
Cover and refrigerate stock overnight.
Place sliced carrots into a saucepan and cover with cold water
and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil
and then simmer for 20 minutes or until quite soft.
Drain carrots then puree in a food processor and pass through
a fine sieve. Refrigerate until required.
Remove as much fat as possible from the top of the stock and
then heat until just liquid enough to
pass through a sieve into a clean pan. Draining as well
Bring to the boil and reduce to about 1 cup. Reduce heat to
low and add oxtail meat and carrot puree
and warm through.
Meanwhile cook pasta in a large pot of water with the
remaining oil and some salt. Drain well.
Add the sauce to the pasta, season with salt and white pepper,
and stir gently to coat the pasta with
Garnish with cheese and parsley just before serving.