Oxtail is an inexpensive and utterly delicious cut of beef that is often overlooked, it is a great winter dish and is perfect for European and Chinese methods of cookery. In this recipe we have slow braised the tail parts in red wine, the bones of tails add a depth of flavour plus releases collogen into the sauce to thicken it.
- 2kg Oxtail (defrost in the fridge overnight)
- 300ml good red wine
- 500ml/18fl oz beef or chicken stock
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 3–4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 onions, roughly diced
- 15 small pcs pelled silver skin onions or shallots (small onions for garnish)
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped or minced
- 3 carrots, finely chopped
- 2 celerystalks, finely chopped
- 4–5 sprigs thyme(or ½ tsp dried thyme)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp finely chopped flatleaf parsley, to serve (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 150C/130C
- Wash the oxtail pieces and pat dry with kitchen paper. Trim off as much excess fat as possible.
- Dredge the oxtails piece by piece through seasoned flour, tossing well to coat then set aside on a plate.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil in a large frying pan. Brown the oxtail over a medium heat in batches for about 10 minutes, turning every now and then, until dark brown all over, this browning creates the rich flavor later so make sure you do this well
- You may need to add extra oil if the pan looks dry at any point during the browning step.
- Put the browned oxtail into a flameproof casserole dish. You may need to do this in batches.)
- Return the frying pan to a low heat and add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery. Add a little extra oil if necessary. Cook gently for 10 minute, or until softened and lightly browned, stirring occasionally, add the tomato pure to the vegetables and cook the mixture for around 3-4 minutes stirring constantly (We recommend to always cook tomato puree in such a way otherwise it can turn your dish bitter)
- Tip the vegetables on top of the beef and add the thyme and bay leaves. Stir in the wine, beef/chicken stock. Put the casserole on the heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover with a lid and cook in the centre of the oven for 3 hours. Stir after 1½ hours, turning the oxtail in the sauce, taste and add the salt and pepper as required
- After 3 hours, the meat should be falling off the bone and the sauce should be thick. Remove the casserole dish from the oven and transfer the oxtail pieces to a plate, set aside and keep warm.
- Skim any fat that has pooled on the surface of the sauce.
- Divide the oxtail pieces between six warmed plates and spoon over the sauce. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley, and serve with mashed potato or steamed rice and steamed vegetables.