Oxtail is an inexpensive and utterly delicious cut of beef that is often overlooked. It is great for slow cooking in winter and is perfect for European and Chinese methods of cookery.
- 2kg Oxtail from Argyle Black
- 300ml good red wine
- 500ml 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 celery stalks, 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 flat-leaf parsley, to serve (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 150 Celsius.
- 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 few minutes, 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 this step.
- Remove the browned oxtail and put into a flameproof casserole dish.
- 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 puree 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 to prevent your dish from becoming bitter).
- Tip the vegetables on top of the beef and add the thyme and bay leaves. Stir in the wine and the beef/chicken stock. Put the casserole onto the stove and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover with a lid and place in the center of the oven for 3 hours. Stir after 1½ hours, turning the oxtail in the sauce. Have a taste and add any 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.