Braised Beef Pappardelle, Orange Gremolata

This dish served at Il Pirata is our take on spaghetti bolognaise, Italian beef ragu; slowly cooked beef brisket in a rich tomato, red wine and beef sauce. It has become a classic at Il Pirata and will be a permanent fixture on our menu.

I started developing this dish with different cuts, beef cheeks, chuck etc. But I found that the texture and taste of the brisket worked perfectly for this robust pasta dish.

This amount of brisket will easily serve 10 people but if you are not eating it in a large group it will freeze very well.

Difficulty medium
Preparation Time 30 - 45 mins
Cooking Time 6 + Hours
Servings 10
For The Brisket
  • 1kg whole piece brisket
  • Maldon salt and fresh black pepper
  • 2tblsp olive oil
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1 carrot peeled
  • 1 small onion peeled
  • 1 leek, white part only, split in half lengthways and washed
  • 1 head garlic, cut through the centre
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 400ml chicken stock
For The Orange Gremolata
  • 1 orange
  • 2tblsp flat leaf parsley finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed with a little rock salt
To Serve
  • 600g dried pappardelle, should be enough for 4 people
  • Maldon salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1tblsp olive oil
  • 100g freshly grated Parmesan

Main Instructions
  1. Pre heat oven to 130c.
  2. Place a large frying pan or tray, big enough to hold the brisket over high heat. Season the brisket all over with salt and pepper and pour the oil into the pan. Cook the brisket on all sides until a lovely deep brown crust has formed all over. Remove from the pan and place into a large oven tray. Pour most of the oil from the pan and place back over the heat. Pour in the red wine and bring to the boil, reduce the wine by half and pour over the beef. Place the remaining ingredients into the tray. Cover with tin foil and cook in the pre heated oven for 6 hours.
  3. After the beef has been cooking for 6 hours remove the tray from the oven. Remove the tin foil and lift out the beef. Place the beef onto a separate tray and reserve. Lift out the carrot, onion, leek and garlic.
  4. Chop all of the cooked vegetables into rough chunks and mix together. Take the garlic and squeeze all of the soft garlic from the head, discard the skin.
  5. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve and place into a large pan, reserve the tomato pulp left in the sieve. Reduce the sauce by half.
  6. Add the tomato pulp to the roughly chopped vegetables and place the whole lot into a blender, turn the blender onto high and blend until smooth.
  7. When the brisket is cool enough to handle flake the meat with your fingertips, the meat will fall into natural strips that run with the grain of the beef. Leave the pieces quite chunky.
  8. Now in the pan that the sauce has been reducing in add the pureed vegetables and the brisket and over a low simmer gently simmer the ragu. Season to taste and set aside.
For The Orange Gremolata Instructions
  1. Remove the zest using a grater or zester, depending on how fine you want the zest to be. Mix the orange zest with the chopped parsley and crushed garlic just before you are ready to serve.
To Serve Instructions
  1. Cook pasta in a pot of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente (about 8-10 minutes).
  2. Drain the pasta well in a colander and season with a little Maldon salt, black pepper and olive oil. Mix in enough of the ragu to coat the pasta strips and toss everything well together (store any left over ragu in the fridge or freezer for another time). Spoon into hot serving bowls and sprinkle over gremolata and grated Parmesan. Serve immediately.
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