My kids both
love to be in the kitchen, which makes it a lot of fun to
cook for them. Although they're still a little too young to
sauté mushrooms or dice onions, they're helpful nonetheless.
Benno, who is almost three, will put on an apron and stand
on a stool next to me, handing me things I need and asking
questions. He's also a great help in tasting and adjusting
seasoning. Leo, at age one, provides our entertainment while
we cook, and likes to put dishes in the dishwasher - and sometimes
take them out again.
and Leo are a parent's - and a chef's - dream in that they
really go for food that most kids their age wouldn't touch:
spinach, goat's milk yogurt, raw sliced garlic, spicy sauces.
The white bean bruschetta mixture I serve at PO is one of
the first foods that Benno ever ate, and both boys still love
it. They're also huge pasta fans, and the gnocchi with oxtails
is a favorite. The soft bitew of the gnocchi in combination
with slow-braised meat makes an easy-to eat dish for young
kids, even while they're teething!
- 2 oxtails
- Salt and
- 6 Tablespoons
extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium
onions, cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 4 cups
red wine, optional. You may use stock or water instead.
- 1 bunch
- 1/2 recipe
basic gnocchi (as given by Mario Batali)
oven to 375° F.
fat from oxtails. Cut oxtails in half through vertebrae (or
have your butcher do this). Season oxtails liberally with
salt and pepper and dredge with flour. In a 6 to 8-quart heavy-
bottomed casserole, heat the olive oil until smoking. Add
oxtails and cook until browned, turning often, 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove to a plate and set aside.
To the same
pan, add the onions, and, stirring constantly, cook until
lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add wine, stock and herbs
and bring to a boil. Return the oxtails to the pot, submerging
them in the liquid, and bring to a boil. Cover the casserole
with a tight-fitting lid or aluminum foil and cook in the
oven for 1 to 1 and one-half hours, or until meat is falling
off the bone.
pan from the oven and carefully remove the oxtails.
from bones and discard bones. Shred meat into small pieces.
With a ladle, remove fat from the surface of the sauce. Add
oxtail meat. Cook to ragu consistency. Season.
6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt.
In a 12
to 14- inch saute pan, heat ragu (sauce) over medium heat
until warmed through.
gnocchi in the boiling water at a low boil until they float
aggressively to the surface. Drain gnocchi and add to saute
pan with oxtail ragu. Toss gently over medium heat to coat
gnocchi with ragu, 1 to 2 minutes. Divide among 6 heated bowls
and grate Asiago over each bowl. Serve immediately.