Braised Oxtail with Pappardelle

As I was growing up, a favorite meal of mine was spaghetti with meat sauce, lovingly prepared by my mom. There’s something about digging into a bowl of pasta smothered in a rich tomato and meat sauce topped with cheese. To me, this dish represents a version of the classic from my childhood. Adding Oxtail brings a touch of luxury and silkiness, elevating the depth of flavors. While it simmers, the aroma of meat, herbs, and other fragrant elements will waft through your home, creating an inviting ambiance. Serve this Oxtail sauce over cooked pappardelle pasta for a delightful meal that is sure to please the entire family.


  • 1.5 kg of Oxtail, cut into pieces about 3 cm thick
  • Some plain flour for dusting
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 finely chopped red onion
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 finely chopped carrot
  • 2 finely chopped celery stalks
  • 4 crushed star anise
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) of white wine
  • Two 400g cans of cherry tomatoes
  • 4 cups (1 liter) of beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley and basil
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped oregano and tarragon, with extra leaves for garnish
  • 400g of pappardelle pasta
  • Finely grated parmesan cheese for serving


Preparing The Meal

Start by heating a Dutch Oven over a high flame. Season the Oxtail with salt and pepper, then coat it lightly with flour. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the Dutch Oven. Heat it until it shimmers. Place the Oxtail in the pot, searing it in batches to avoid overcrowding. Brown each side of the Oxtail for about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Once browned, move the Oxtail to a plate. Set it aside.

Place the carrots, onions, and celery in the pot. Cook them over heat for approximately 8 minutes until the onions have a golden hue. Next, add the garlic. Let it cook for about half a minute. Move the vegetables to the sides of the pot to create space in the middle, and then add the tomato paste. Cook the pasta for 2 minutes until it begins to brown, ensuring it doesn’t burn. Pour in the wine, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, and let it simmer until slightly reduced, which should take 5 minutes.

Put the Oxtail back in the pot, pour in the beef broth, and add water to almost cover the meat. Bring it to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low. Add the bay leaf, thyme, and rosemary to the pot. You can tie the herbs together with kitchen twine for removal on. Cover the pot with a lid. Let it simmer until the meat is very tender, which should take around 8 hours. While it simmers check regularly to make sure the meat stays submerged in liquid adding more if needed.

Once the meat has become tender, remove it from the broth using a spoon. Separate the meat from the bones. Set it aside. Make sure to remove all herbs, meat, and bones from the broth. To prepare the sauce, puree the remaining vegetables and broth in the pot using either a blender or a hand-held immersion blender.

Serve the cooked pasta on the plates. Place a portion of the meat, pour the sauce over both the beef and pasta, and then generously sprinkle grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Finally, top it off with a garnish of chopped parsley.

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