Seasonal Recipe: Slow-Cooked Oxtail Ragout with Horseradish Gremolata and Crispy Pink Firs

 10th January 2022

A cosy and comforting winter dish from our Chef Director, Ben Tish

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 flavored 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.

Slow-Cooked Oxtail Ragout, Horseradish Gremolata, Crispy Pink Firs

Ingredients – Serves 4

2.25kg Oxtail – Cut into sections and fat trimmed (your butcher can prepare this for you)
1 Tablespoon Plain Flour
Vegetables – 1 Onion (peeled and chopped), 1 Large Carrot (Chopped), 300g Ripe Tomatoes (Chopped), 250g Pink Fir Potatoes
1 Large Carrot – chopped
3 teaspoons of tomato paste
Peeled zesty of half an orange
4 Cloves of Garlic – peeled and roughly chopped
1/4 Bottle of Red Wine
Spices/Seasoning – 1 tsp Ground Cumin 1 Stick Cinnamon, 2 Bay Leaves
500ml Fresh Beef Stock – Homemade is Best

Gremolata

A thumb sized piece of fresh horseradish
Grated sent of 1 lemon
Small bunch of flat leaf parsley – chopped

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

Pre heat your oven at 150 degrees.

 

Method

STEP 1: 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.
STEP 2: Add the chopped onion, carrot and garlic and cook for a few minutes to brown and soften. 
STEP 3:  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.
STEP 4:  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.
STEP 5:  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.
STEP 6: Cook for 3 hours (at 150 degrees) 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).

Pulling it together

STEP 7: Whilst the stew is cooking, boil the potatoes, unpeeled, until just tender, drain and cool. Cut there potatoes in half lengthwise, drizzle with oil and season.
STEP 8: Leave the stew to stand (lid on) for at least an hour and a half to rest and the flavours to develop. Then add seasoning as necessary.
STEP 9: Whilst the Oxtail rests, turn the oven up to 200 degrees and roast the potatoes until crispy and golden brown (about 30 minutes). Mix the gremolata ingredients together along with some olive oil.
STEP 10: To serve – warm the oxtails back through and serve along with crispy potatoes and greolata spooned over.