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Tuscan ox cheeks and pici pasta

  • Tuscan chianti braised ox cheeks and pici pasta

    Serves 4
    Cooking time 3 hours

    2 ox cheeks, 1.5kg approximately
    325ml of chianti red wine
    1 bay leaf
    peppercorns, a few
    1 garlic clove (for the marinade bashed)
    1 large onion, peeled and chopped
    1 stick of celery, finely chopped
    2 carrots, peeled and diced
    2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
    300ml of beef stock I used beef bone broth
    2 tbsp of tomato purée
    salt pepper

    The day before add the ox cheeks in a bowl and add the wine, bashed clove of garlic, pepper corns and bay leaf, cover with plastic wrap and leave to marinade over night in the fridge.
    The next day finely slice and fry the onion until golden then add the carrot and celery and sliced garlic ( I grated the carrot) remove from the frying pan and then pour into a casserole pan then remove the ox cheeks from the wine mixture, saving that liquid, season the meat then place in the pan and brown on both sides then pour over the wine mixture to deglaze the pan and pour into the casserole dish, place the lid on and bake in the oven for 3 hours.
    Half way through cooking I turned the ox cheeks over so that the sauce was able to help cook it.
    After three hours the meat should fall apart, if not you can cook for another 20 minutes to 1 hour. 3 hours was enough for me.
    Pull the meat apart into small bits so it mixes with the sauce.
    While the meat is cooking make the pasta

    3 cups tippo 00 pasta flour
    4 eggs
    1 tbsp. olive oil

    Place the flour in a mound on the work top and make a hole in the centre, then crack the eggs into the centre and add the oil then using a fork start stirring the eggs, pulling in flour from the edge as you go then mix with your hands and knead together into a ball.
    Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 2o minutes. to make pici pasta you can either roll the dough out and cut strips then roll into spaghetti like strands or break off small chunks and roll it out between your hands and then roll against the work top.
    To cook pasta add to boiling water on the stove and cook for 6 minutes, then strain off the water and toss in the meat sauce.
    Serve with grated hard Italian cheese and some fresh basil.

    Recipe created by: Aimee Twigger

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