Charlie's Bird

living the dream with Charlie and Thandi and chirping all the way back to the nest.

Winter Warmer

Ok, so this weekend, there was some time for cooking. And because it’s winter and the nights are getting colder, it was time for some oxtail. Historically oxtail was considered a cheap cut, something not everyone really wanted to eat. Thankfully those days are over, and aside from 1 non-vegetarian I know, all my omnivore friends eat oxtail, and love it! Recipes like this are a little rough, you need a bit of cooking common sense and initiative, I can only give you rough ideas on quantities etc, it really does depend on what you have in the fridge, what you can buy from the store, and most importantly, what you feel like eating.

20130625-101123.jpgOk, so I used 1.5kg of oxtail, enough to feed a hungry family of 4 with left overs for everyone the next day. I used an onion, 2 cloves of garlic, some bacon, some leeks, carrots, baby potatoes, fennel, celery and pumpkin and butter beans in my stew.

So we start with the oxtail, roll in seasoned flour ( flour with salt, pepper, mixed herbs and English mustard powder added to it), then brown  in batches in olive oil over a medium-high heat. Do not overcrowd the pot, then you will just boil it up – yuk! 20130625-101147.jpg

The next step is to fry off the onion, a clove or 2 of garlic and the bacon, until the onion is translucent and the bacon is looking cooked.

20130625-101157.jpgThen add the oxtail back into the pot, and add your stock mix. Again, a rough recipe, there are no hard and fast rules. I used about 750 ml of beef stock (I really like the NOMU fonds, albeit they are a tad pricey), about 400 ml red wine, some chutney (about 2 tablespoons), about 3 tablespoons tomato paste, a generous dose of crushed black pepper, 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, one of the fennel bulb tops and some dried mixed herbs. You could add Worceshire sause, soya sauce or balsamic vinegar. Whatever takes your fancy. Pour this over your oxtail, making sure its all covered, if it isn’t add some more stock/wine, and after bringing up to the boil, reduce the temperature and simmer covered for 2-3 hours. Mine simmered for about 4. Stir occasionally and just keep an eye. Remember the longer it simmers, the more and more tender the oxtail. 20130625-101207.jpg

About an hour before serving, add the veggies – I left the baby potatoes whole, cubed the butternut, quartered the fennel bulb, left the baby carrots whole, sliced the celery and let that simmer for an hour. Just prior to serving I added a can of drained and washed butter beans, heating through. 20130625-101223.jpg

Serve with rice or mash, or as I did with Rosmarino pasta (looks like rice, tastes likes pasta-yum). Some sharp English mustard ont he side is delicious. Oh, and some crunchy fresh baguette to mop up the juices.

20130625-101250.jpgFollow that up with something ridiculous – like Milo Macarons…

20130625-101258.jpg(I have finally struck macaron making gold – might have been an accident, but these were magnificent!)



  Renee wrote @

Love Oxtail, but where do you get yours from cause my last one was so tough even after 14 hours of cooking.

  charliesbird wrote @

This was woollies oxtail, Renee.

  Leigh wrote @

That’s what I’m making for supper tonight! Yum!!!

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