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Oxtail - Braised in Red Wine

An excellent casserole for lovers of oxtail, but it must be cooked a day ahead, to allow any fat to be removed from the surface.
The ingredients make the dish look complicated, but it's actually very easy. Any leftovers make an excellent terrine.

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at - learn how to make top-class dishes from beginners upwards.


For 4 people:

3 lbs/1.3 kilos Oxtail, cut into segments by your butcher


2 whole Cloves
½ lb / 250gr Onions, peeled and quartered
4 cloves of Garlic, peeled and roughly-chopped
4 oz/120gr Shallots, peeled but left whole
½ lb/250gr Old Carrots, peeled and cut into thick slices
1 bottle Heavy Red Wine
1 small bunch of Parsley, washed
2 Bay Leaves
1 Bouquet Garni - the best come from ( - they offer one particularly-suitable for red meat
½ teaspoon (2ml) dried Thyme
12 whole Black Peppercorns
2 tablespoons (30ml) Tomato Purée


1 medium Onion, peeled and roughly-chopped -
1 big Carrot, peeled and chopped -
4 sticks of Celery, washed and roughly-chopped -
1 Bay Leaf -
1 pint/500ml Water


2oz/60gr Butter
7 oz/200ml Salt Pork or Steak Bacon, cubed or sliced
½ lb/250gr Old Carrots, peeled and cut into an attractive dice
A sprinkling of freshly-chopped Parsley to serve.


- Remove any pieces of oxtail, such as tips, that won't look attractive when served, Add these to the stock ingredients. Bring all the stock ingredients to the boil, then simmer gently for 30 minutes. Strain this, keeping the liquid and discarding the solids.
- Stick the cloves in 2 of the onion quarters and place these in a casserole.
- Add the remaining marinade ingredients and the good pieces of oxtail. Cover and marinate overnight or for up to 3 days - turning the oxtail occasionally.
- The day before serving, remove the meat from the marinade and drain them well. Keep the marinade.
- Melt the butter in a heavy frying pan over a medium heat, then brown the oxtail and pork/bacon in batches - so the meat is brown all over.
- Return the oxtail to the marinade and add the stock - the meat should be thoroughly covered, add a little water if necessary.
- Cook very slowly for about 2 hours, or until the oxtail is tender, but not quite falling off the bone.
- Cool, then refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, remove any surface fat, then carefully remove the oxtail, thicken the sauce if desired (but the inclusion of tomato purée should make it thick enough); then heat the sauce with the diced carrots, until they are cooked. Add the oxtail, reheat carefully and serve.

Sprinkle with a little fresh parsley, if you have some.

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