Ox Heart and Sundried Tomato Ravioli with Earl Grey Cream
A concept dish is something that I've usually been sitting on for a little while. I need to be able to tasty the flavours in my head before I'm able to start the cook. But finally, here it is, the finished product. It's an ox-heart and sundried tomato ravioli, with pasta verde. It's in an Earl Grey infused cream, giving it a floral, slightly bittersweet base. This recipe will explain how to make the components first, then how to bring them together.
2 Pots: One for the Cream, the other for the Pasta
Ravioli Wheel or Plate
Ingredients (For the Pasta)
100 gm Spinach
350-400g 00 Flour, plus extra for dusting
For the Filling
400g Ox Heart
2 Tablespoons Dried Oregano
100g Sundried Tomatoes, finely minced
5 Garlic cloves, minced
1 White Onion, finely sliced.
White Wine Vinegar
For the Cream
2 Good Quality Earl Grey Teabags
1 Cup Vegetable Stock
2 Tomatoes, Roughly Chopped
6 Button Mushrooms, Sliced (more if you're into those shrooms)
1 Sprig of Rosemary
The first step is the filling. I like to think that the filling can usually wait once prepared, the pasta, less so, as it is best prepared for ravioli when fresh and supple.
Slice the ox-heart across the grain, about a centimeter wide. Put it into the pressure cooker, along with the onions, oregano and garlic. Saute on a medium heat until meat has browned. Add a splash of white wine vinegar. When this has fully reduced, cover with water, and close the lid. Get it to pressure and cook for 30 minutes.
While that's cooking, we can start on the pasta. In the blender, add your spinach and eggs. Blend on a medium speed until smooth.
In a mixing bowl add your flour and create a well in the middle. Pour the mixture from the blender in, along with a pinch or two of salt and a lug of olive oil.
With a fork, mix this, like the picture on the right. Gradually incorporate more and more flour until the fork no longer does the trick for mixing. It's now time to work with your hands. Get stuck in, and really knead it until the dough is stretchy, and the colour is uniform. Make sure you keep the dusting flour handy so it doesn't stick.
Cut the dough into lumps of about 50g per lump, or about 10 similar sized lumps. Put each through the pasta roller. You'll want to squeeze each through until you've got sheets that are at a pasta roller thickness of five.
Once you've done this, the meat will probably be done in the pressure cooker. Remove it from the heat and release the pressure. There should still be liquid in the bottom. Put it back on the heat, and reduce the liquid until it's nearly gone. Once off the heat, tip it onto a chopping board and mince with the knife. It should be so tender by this stage, that the knife is both mincing it and pulling it. Once the texture is fine, stir through with the sundried tomato. Salt and pepper to taste.
Create your ravioli with the pasta sheets and teaspoonfuls of the mixture at a
time. I use water as a glue. I also do it in strips, working out the air as I go. The cut is the final seal. I got about 50 ravioli out of the mixture. Set aside for cooking.
Boil a pot of water, and really salt it. Keep it boiling, ready for the ravioli.
Next, in another pot, put 3 cups of water, the rosemary and the two teabags on a low heat. Steep the teabags until the water is a tea you'd drink - nice and dark, but be careful not to oversteep it - it'll taste too bitter otherwise. You're looking for an caramelly colour in this case.
Once you get to this stage, add in the cup of stock and the cream. Integrate the mixture thoroughly, remove the teabags and the rosemary. You can now add the mushrooms, increase the heat to medium and reduce slightly until it's slightly thicker and the mushrooms have soften. Taste it - it'll need a whack of salt and some pepper.
I batch-cook this dish to serve. This is how:
Heat a frying pan- stainless or nonstick is good. Take your ravioli, around 8, and boil them for 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, in the frying pan, add a lug of olive oil and a scattering of tomatoes, and two-3 ladles of the cream. Simmer until it's bubbling. Keep everything moving and not sticking! Once the ravioli have cooked put them in the simmering cream and increase the heat for thirty to forty seconds, then serve.
I haven't tried cooking it in a big batch, but I'd imagine this would be the way to go:
Add the tomato to the earl grey cream and reduce by half. Boil the ravioli for 2-3 minutes. Drain, and then toss in olive oil in the same pot. Pour the sauce and tomato into the ravioli, mix and then serve.
Garnish with sprouts of oregano to tie in all those earthy flavours.