Oxtail Ragu with Cheesy Polenta

This week it’s all about wine and cheese, with 20% off all local wines and great discounts on specially selected cheeses chosen by members of the Oliver’s cheese team! Maybe it’s not quite fall, but we don’t think that should keep you from making this insanely flavorful ragu. Oxtail is one of those tricky ingredients that requires long cooking to be anywhere near edible, but once it’s cooked, HOO boy. We’ve used L’Oliveto’s Pinot Noir as the perfect compliment to the oxtail and piled it all on top of our favorite polenta, yum!

  • Serves: 4-6 servings
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours


  • 3 lb. Oxtails, cut into chunks
  • 1 (750 ml.) bottle L'Oliveto Pinot Noir
  • 2 Carrots, peeled & finely chopped
  • 2 stalks Celery, washed & finely chopped
  • 1 Yellow Onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 (16 oz.) can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 tbsp. Thyme
  • 1 tsp. Oregano
  • 1 tsp. Rosemary
  • 2 c. Fresh Italian Parsley, chopped
  • 2 c. Beef Stock
  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 c. Polenta
  • 4 c. Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 c. Fontina Cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 c. Parmesan Cheese, shredded


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and season oxtail well with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven or other oven-safe pot, heat olive oil until hot but not smoking hten add seasoned oxtail; cook until browned on all sides, turning several times to ensure even browning. Remove from pot and add carrot, celery, garlic, and onion; season lightly with salt and cook until veggies are soft and golden, then return beef to pan. Add bottle of red wine, crushed tomatoes, beef stock, and herbs (except parsley), then cover and bring to a simmer; when simmering, place pot in oven and cook without disturbing for 2 hours. Stir in tomato paste and parsley and cook additional hour in the oven.

  2. While ragu finishes, bring 4 cups of stock to boiling and slowly stir in polenta, then reduce heat to low. Cook polenta, whisking constantly to percent lumps, for about 30 minutes or until polent is completely cooked. Stir in Fontina and Parmesan cheeses one handful at a time until completely combined, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

  3. When ragu is done, remove from oven and season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve on top of polenta with plenty of freshly grated Parmesan.

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