You know the saying, absence makes the heart grow fonder? My husband and I love and appreciate each other everyday, but when he is away the kids and I miss him terribly and are always overjoyed when he comes home. If you read my post about the gnocchi tater tots, you know that my husband recently had to go on a trip for work. I was so excited for him to come home, I began pondering what I would make as a welcome home meal for him the day he left.
I wanted to make a roast, something homey and warming that I could start in the morning and let it go all day. But, alas, I had no roast and no motivation to go to the store to get one. I did have some ox tails in the freezer though. If you’ve never had ox tails, they are very similar to short ribs. Fatty, kind of greasy, but if cooked low and slow, practically melt in your mouth. I’ve only had ox tails on one previous occasion: a Reggae concert we attended some months back. I came across the recipe on Epicurious when I was looking up recipes for gnocchi. These were an italian take on ox tails (obviously! The original recipe is served with gnocchi) which was good, but now that I’ve got the technique down I think I will try for Jamaican flavors next time.
So my husband is welcomed home with an ox tail ragu over buttered egg noodles; my way of saying, “Love you, Honey! I’m so glad you’re home!”
Oxtail Ragu over Buttered Egg Noodles
*Adapted from Oxtail Ragu with Semonila Gnocchi
5 pounds 2- to 3-inch pieces oxtails
All purpose flour
1/2 cup olive oil
5 large celery stalks, coarsely chopped
2 large carrots, peeled, chopped
1 large onion, very coarsely chopped
2 cups dry red wine
1 1/4 cups canned crushed tomatoes with added puree
4 garlic cloves, chopped
6 fresh Italian parsley sprigs
2 large fresh rosemary sprigs
3 Turkish bay leaves
2 cups beef broth
1 cup low-salt chicken broth
1 package egg noodles
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons parsley
Preheat oven to 325°F. Sprinkle oxtails with salt and pepper, then flour. Heat oil in heavy wide ovenproof pot over high heat. Add oxtails; cook until brown on all sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer to bowl. Add celery, carrots, and onion to pot. Reduce heat to medium-high and sauté until vegetables brown, about 15 minutes. Add wine and tomatoes. Boil until thickened to chunky sauce, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle in garlic. Tie parsley, rosemary, and bay leaves with kitchen string and add to pot. Return oxtails to pot in single layer. Add all broth; bring to boil. Cover pot; place in oven.
Braise oxtails until very tender, about 2 hours. Transfer oxtails to rimmed baking sheet. Using potato masher, crush juices and vegetables in pot to coarse sauce. Pull meat off oxtails and add to sauce. Season ragù with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cool, cover, and chill. Rewarm before continuing.
Cook egg noodles, according to package directions in salted water. Drain and toss with butter and parsley while pasta is still hot.
Serve Ragu over hot, buttered noodles.
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