I love Italian food and I especially love making pasta, so this challenge was perfect! My only difficulty was deciding what to have with the pasta. I decided to do a fusion of sorts with West Indian food and Italian food. I must say that the merger was quite successful.
The dish I came up with was pappardelle with chives and a braised oxtail and porcini mushroom ragout. I now know that oxtail need not only be served with rice (in my kitchen anyway LOL).
Blog-checking lines: Steph from Stephfood was our Daring Cooks' July hostess. Steph challenged us to make homemade noodles without the help of a motorized pasta machine. She provided us with recipes for Spätzle and Fresh Egg Pasta as well as a few delicious sauces to pair our noodles with!
A couple of years ago I bought a hand-crank pasta roller which was on sale and which I never used. I actually took it out of the box for this challenge for the first time! I have just gotten so used to my Kitchenaid for making pasta. However, I did do it all by hand this time - but I have to admit that I'll be going back to the automated rollers for next time...
This recipe makes two servings.
Here's what you'll need for the oxtail
2 lbs of oxtail, rinsed and drained
2 cups of chopped cooked onion
3 large cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 c tomato paste
1/2 bunch of fresh thyme (tied together for easier removal)
3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons of salt
2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
1 whole scotch bonnet or habanero pepper
2 Bay leaves
- Place all ingredients in a dutch oven with enough water to cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat
- Skim any foam that forms on the top
- Cover and put into a 350F oven for 3 hours - check it after 90 minutes though as it depends on how large your pieces of oxtail are
- Once finished cooking, allow to cool enough to handle the oxtail
- Remove the pieces from the sauce and remove the meat from the oxtails and reserve separately. You can discard the bones or keep them for another use later.
|Oxtail off the bone|
- Reserve all the cooking liquid and refrigerate to make it easier to de-grease the sauce.
- Note: Don't be afraid of the habanero/scotch bonnet pepper! When they are put into the sauce whole they impart flavour and a tiny fraction of the heat they are capable of.
Day 2 you'll need:
The reserved oxtail meat
1 cup of the reserved sauce (without the pepper and bay leaves), which has been de-greased
1/2 oz of dried porcini mushrooms
- Reserve 1/4 cup of the soaking liquid
- In a medium skillet, add the oxtail meat, the reserved cooking liquid, the re hydrated mushrooms and mushroom soaking liquid
- Warm gently over medium heat until simmering slightly
For the pasta:
250 grams of flour (about 8 ounces) - a good blend is 1/2 '00' and half semolina, but all purpose works too
2 large eggs
- Make a well in the flour and break the eggs into the centre
- Beat the eggs and slowly incorporate the flour
- When the mixture is starting the thicken, using your hands, start to incorporate the flour from around the edges
- Knead the dough for about 8 minutes - until the dough is smooth and not sticking to your hands
|My drying racks|
Notes: Rule of thumb for making pasta - 1 egg and 100 gm (3 oz) of flour per person; don't worry about all the flour being absorbed by the eggs - the eggs will absorb as much flour as necessary (from my experience); also, once the flour has been incorporated, you will have chunks of dough on your hands. Wash this off - no point in try to incorporate these chunks into your nice smooth dough
- Cover the dough with plastic and let it rest in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
- From here, follow the manufacturer's directions for rolling out your dough to the desired thickness
- I hand cut the dough for the pappardelle using a pizza cutter as I wanted a more rustic look
To finish the dish:
- In a medium skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add 3 tablespoons of chopped chives
- Cook the pasta for about 3 minutes, until al dente
- Using tongs, carefully take the pasta out of the water and put into the skillet with the butter mixture
- Toss gently with mixture for about one minute then plate with ragout.
-Note: I added some diced, blanched yellow and orange carrots to the dish for a little colour and texture
This challenge was a long process, but glad to know that these flavours work well together - I'll be making it again - another recipe/method to add to my repertoire. It turned out absolutely delicious - the fusion of the West Indian style oxtails and the porcini mushrooms with pasta was sublime. Thanks Steph for the opportunity to create this experiment!
|It tasted as good as it looks!|