Recipe: Braised Oxtail Ravioli

For those who find making their own pasta at home, a little intimidating, gyoza or wonton wrappers available from Chinese or Asian supermarkets are the perfect substitute. They make an ideal case for these ravioli and are far easier to use than fresh pasta. This recipe makes plenty of sauce, and any leftover can be frozen and used as an exceptionally tasty gravy.


Serves 4


3 tbsp plain flour
1kg oxtail, sliced
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 garlic bulb, halved
Few sprigs of rosemary
Few sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
1 onion, quartered
3 carrots, quartered
1 leek, white part only, roughly chopped
500ml red wine
250ml port
2 tbsp tomato purée
3 tbsp black treacle
5 white peppercorns
1 star anise
750ml veal or beef stock
750ml chicken stock
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
3 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
20g unsalted butter
1 small celeriac, diced into ½-1cm pieces
36 gyoza wrappers (1½ packets, approximately 210g, available from Asian supermarkets)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil, for drizzling  


Season the flour with salt and pepper and toss the oxtail in it. Heat the oil in a large casserole dish. Once smoking hot, brown the oxtail all over, then remove from the pan. Add the garlic, herbs and vegetables to the pan and cook for 10-15 minutes, until golden. Add the wine, port and tomato purée and cook over high heat until reduced to a syrupy consistency.

Return the oxtail to the pan with the treacle, peppercorns, star anise and both stocks. Bring to a very gentle simmer, cover and cook for 3 hours, or until the meat is falling off the bone.

Strain the sauce into a clean saucepan, then bring it to a simmer over moderate heat and cook until reduced by half. Pick the meat from the bones into a bowl. Add enough of the reduced sauce to loosely bind the meat together, then mix in the sherry vinegar, 1 tablespoon of the flat-leaf parsley and check for seasoning. Reserve the remaining sauce for serving.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Add the celeriac and a good pinch of salt and cook for about 5 minutes until the celeariac is golden and tender. Add to the oxtail mixture.

To make the ravioli, brush the outside edges of one of the gyoza wrappers with water. Place a small spoonful of the oxtail filling in the centre and place another gyoza wrapper on top. Press the edges to seal, making sure you remove any air trapped inside. Continue with the remaining wrappers and filling until you have 18 ravioli. Arrange them in a single layer in a steamer set over a pan of boiling water (you may need to work in batches, keeping the cooked dumplings hot while you cook the rest). Steam for 5 minutes.

Heat the reserved sauce and serve with the ravioli and drizzle with olive oil.