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Slow Cooked Oxtail Ragout, Horseradish Gremolata, Crispy Pink Firs

I’ve been cooking oxtail for many years- it’s got the most incredible, deep flavor and, after slow cooking a lip-smacking unctuousness that can’t be beaten. I think it’s a cut that’s underused but I’m always singing its “slow cooked” virtues. This ragout style braise is flavoured with rich tomato, wine and aromatic spices- based on a recipe I picked up whilst travelling around southern Italy a few years ago.

This is basically oxtail and chips- the crispy pink fir potatoes make a delicious accompaniment and the fresh horseradish in the gremolata packs a real kick.

I serve the oxtail on the bone.


Prep time
30 mins
Cooking time
4.5 hours
Difficulty
Moderate
Serves
4
Slow Cooked Oxtail Ragout, Horseradish Gremolata, Crispy Pink Firs
Slow Cooked Oxtail Ragout, Horseradish Gremolata, Crispy Pink Firs

Ingredients

2.25kg oxtail, cut into sections and fat trimmed- your butcher will prepare this for you

1 tablespoon plain flour

1 onion, peeled and chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

3 tsp tomato paste

Peeled zest of ½ orange

4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

2 bay

1 tsp ground cumin

1 stick cinnamon

½ bottle of red wine

300g ripe tomatoes, chopped

500ml fresh beef stock – homemade is best

250g pink fir potatoes

sea salt, black pepper and olive oil for cooking

 

Gremolata

A thumb size piece of fresh horseradish, peeled

Grated zest of 1 lemon 

1 small bunch flat parsley, chopped


Directions

You’ll need a large oven proof casserole- with a lid- for this recipe to house the oxtails and sauce.

Heat the casserole over a medium hot heat.

Dust the oxtails with the flour and shake off the excess- add a lug of oil to the pan and then the oxtails. Brown them on all sides and remove them from the pan. Now add the chopped onion, carrot and garlic and cook for a few minutes to brown and soften. Next add the spices (cinnamon, cumin and bay) and cook out for a couple of minutes and then the tomato paste and cook out for 3 minutes before pouring in the wine, turning and bring to the boil- as the liquid is coming to the boil scrape the bottom of the pot to release any sediments into the sauce. Boil the wine, add the zest and reduce by two thirds before transferring the oxtails back into the pot along with the stock and chopped tomatoes.

Heat an oven to 150oc

Bring the stock to the boil and then skim off any scum that rises to the top of the pan before placing the lid on and transferring the casserole to the oven.

Cook for 3 hours or until the meat is falling from the bone and the liquid has become a deep, rich sauce consistency. (If the sauce is a little too thin then boil it down on the hob until it thickens). Whilst the stew is cooking, boil the potatoes, unpeeled, until just tender, drain and cool. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, drizzle with oil and season.

Leave the stew to stand (lid on) for at least an hour and half to rest and the flavors develop and then add seasoning as necessary. 

While the oxtails rest turn the oven up to 200oc and roast the potatoes until crispy and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Mix the gremolata ingredients together along with some olive oil.

To serve- warm the oxtails back through and serve along with the crispy potatoes and the gremolata spooned over.


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