Rustic Oxtail Stew

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oxtail stew in the making…

Do not let its rustic appearance scare you away, it may not look like anything special, but trust me.. it does wonders in the mouth. Slow roasted oxtail brings back some childhood memories of dining out in Spain. The way they do it is simple and brilliant but ever so messy. All you want to do is eat it with your hands and suck the juices of each bone as the locals demonstrate it. Yum Yum!

I feel oxtail is an underestimated cut (perhaps as it was associated as peasant food in the past) even though it has a fine taste where the meat simply falls off the bone and literally melts in the mouth… it almost tastes like the bone marrow in osso bucco…that just happens to be my favourite part! This stew recipe cannot go wrong and tastes just as good every single time. Of course what made this dish extra special was the fact that it was cooked in a stone oven for about 4-5 hours that added a taste of perfection that cannot be replicated in a regular oven. Oxtail is a typical tapas in Spain and tastes almost better the next day when reheated.

Heavenly Broth

… and it is so very important to make a broth from the juices as this adds extra flavour in future dishes. We made a roasted chicken the following day and the broth made a heavenly sauce to it.

This is basically done by saving all the liquid and vegetables from the stew, blend or sieve them into a smooth silky paste. Then you let the liquid reduce on a hot stove until it thickens. At this point you can freeze some of the heavenly juices or refrigerate it for upcoming dishes. When you use the broth, all you do is add a little cream to it and check for seasoning. Superb!

Stew ingredients

  • About 10 oxtails  (medium/large sized)
  • 1 Large carrot
  • 2 Celeries
  • 5 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Turnip
  • 2 Onions
  • 2-3 dl Red WIne
  • 3 Bayleaves
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Juniper Berries
  • 2-3 dl Tomato Puree
  • 2-3 dl Chicken/Vegetable Stock
  • Olive Oil
  • Butter
  • Pepper/Salt
  • 1 Chili

Directions

Preheat oven to 200 C. Chop all the vegetable in a large stewpan (carrot, celery, garlic, turnip, onion, chili) Then in a hot pan, sear the sides of each oxtail in butter so they gain a bit of colour. Place the oxtail on top of the vegetable. Pour the buttery juices off the pan into the stewpan. Add in the herbs, berries, a drizzle of olive oil, puree and red wine.  Add enough stock so the oxtails are covered. Add Seasalt and ground black pepper. Close the lid and place into oven for 4-5 hours.  Drop the temperature after 2 hours to 180 C. Check on them midway and give a good stir.

When they are done, serve the oxtail with a pinch of finger salt and sprinkled thyme or parsley. Remember to make the broth for the future. The oxtails taste so good just like this because they have been soaking up all the lovely flavours, we did not even use the broth for this.

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