I have fond memories of my mother’s braised oxtail, a perfect family meal where every member likes to suck on bones! Here I’ve updated it with some spices and Chinese black vinegar to give it a different flavour. Still a wonderful one pot meal!
Serves 4 – 6
Preparation: ideally this should be begun the day prior to serving
Resting: overnight in refrigerator
Cooking: 3 hours the first day, 1 hour the next
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1.5 k oxtail
1 cup (250mls) white wine
2 large brown onions, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1 stick celery, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 litre (4 cups) chicken stock
Bouquet garni – parsley stalks and thyme
2 strips orange rind
1 star anise
6 – 8 small potatoes e.g. Nicola, halved
1 cup peas
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar
- Place heavy based pan over medium high heat and melt half the butter and oil. Brown oxtail well, in batches if necessary, pouring off excess fat in between batches. Deglaze pan with wine.
- Meanwhile sweat vegetables in remaining butter and oil in a large saucepan until onion is translucent. Add browned oxtail, wine, beef stock, bouquet garni, orange rind and star anise and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover with a cartouche (baking paper circle) and cook until oxtail is tender, approximately 3 hours. (Alternatively this can be done in a low oven.)
- Cool and place in refrigerator overnight. Remove fat from the surface.
- Reheat and when simmering add potatoes. Cook until potatoes are tender and meat is falling off the bones. Add peas and cook for a further few minutes.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper and Chinese black vinegar. Serve.
Lyndey’s Note: Alternatively the oxtail can be taken off the bone and shredded. Do this prior to adding the vegetables. This can then be served with pasta and also makes a lovely entree.
Wine: Rich and unctuous this needs a big, big wine so go for a cabernet sauvignon. The tannin will cut through the rich stickiness of the meat.
Recipe from Just Add Spice by Lyndey Milan & Ian Hemphill (Lantern 2010)
Photographer: Chris Chen