Dear Diary – it’s been a million days since I’ve stayed home. I don’t know what day it is anymore. My I’m starting to resent cooking a little bit at this point.
Anyone feel similar, lol? Resentment is an over-exaggeration, but I do have a newfound appreciation for restaurants. It wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have to feed myself (and Chris) three times a day. I used to buy my lunch so that was one less meal to cook. Hence, I’ve started to plan meals that I can freeze and just reheat as I eat them. This oxtail ragu is the perfect freezer meal. It’s low in effort and yields a delicious, thick and meaty sauce that goes with so many different things. I also love it for other reasons.
I order my meat from Belcampo these days. Their mission is simple: raise the best possible farm animals for the best possible health for both animals and humans. They’re certified organic and certified humane with regenerative practices and climate positive farming. All their animals are pasture-raised and grass-fed yielding more natural and delicious cuts of meat. Belcampo also practices whole animal butchery so I can order specialty cuts that lots of grocery stores don’t carry. Best part? They deliver right to my door so I can limit my outdoor excursions and continue to do my part in flattening the curve. I’m really excited to announce I’m a Belcampo Ambassador and will be featuring more recipes with their products!
Oxtails are delicious. I grew up eating them but they were always a treat because they’re a little on the pricey side. That’s why I think it’s such a great idea to use them in ragu. Oxtails are the tail of the cattle and are gelatinous because there’s so much collagen. The collagen helps to thicken the ragu naturally. A ragu is not just a “pasta sauce.” Ragu is a meat sauce – there should always be more meat than sauce in ratio! This sauce is very rich in texture and flavor so not much of it is needed. A little bit goes a long, long way.
This ragu can last in the freezer from 4 to 6 months. Pack them into smaller ziplock baggies and pull one out whenever you need it. It’s fast and convenient for nights when you just don’t want to cook but need some home cooked comfort.
- 3 pounds oxtail (I ordered mine from Belcampo)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes(or 4 cups diced tomatoes)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Step 1 Generously coat oxtails with salt and pepper and set aside while prepping the other ingredients.
- Step 2 Heat a 4 quart dutch oven over medium high heat and add oil.
- Step 3 Brown the oxtail on all sides for about 10-15 minutes. Set oxtail aside.
- Step 4 Add onion and garlic to the dutch oven over medium heat and cook until fragrant.
- Step 5 Deglaze with the wine and vinegar and scrape off any bits stuck at the bottom of the pot.
- Step 6 Add tomatoes, bay leaves, rosemary, honey, a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring all ingredients to a boil.
- Step 7 Cover pot with lid and turn heat to low for about 30 minutes.
- Step 8 Return oxtail to pot and turn heat for a gentle simmer. Cover the pot partially with the lid and cook for another 3 hours until liquids are cooked down. Stir occasionally and rotate oxtails as necessary to keep them submerged in liquid.
- Step 9 Remove oxtails and pull off meat from the bones. I find doing this by hand is the cleanest way to get the most meat off the bone.
- Step 10 Remove bay leaves and rosemary stems. Use a hand blend, lightly blend the tomato sauce to create a smoother sauce.
- Step 11 Return all the oxtail meat to the sauce and mix. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to person preference. Allow to cool for 12 hours, this will thicken the sauce further.
- Step 12 Reheat and top over your favorite pasta or noodles.
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