Monday, October 29, 2012

Ox Neck Ragu

Yes, you read that right: ox neck. 

Perhaps not the most common cut of beef, but inexpensive and quite tasty indeed. Sometimes called the 'clod' (hardly an appetizing description), this is a tough, boned-out roasting joint that comes from the top end of the chuck. Because it was such a cheap cut, I was able to get it from a very fine steer indeed; local and sustainably farmed. Ox neck is sometimes turned into a traditional American-style pot roast. However, I went in a more Italian direction and braised it down in some of my roast tomato sauce (the gift that keeps on giving) along with the usual aromatics to make a rich and meaty ragu. A good five hours in a low oven, and then all that is required is to shred it up, not unlike pulled pork, adjust the seasoning and get it on top of some pasta. Grated Parmesan and some jarred chillies completed the meal. Warm, buttered bread too? Why not. Real comfort food for a cold autumn night.

After which, we gathered around the fire, candles-a-ready, to await the hurricane's wrath...waiting..waiting...

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