Slow Cooked Oxtail Stew

Oxtail stew is jam packed with flavor, and has great balance as well as complexity. Aside from the fall off the bone tender oxtails, this stew has onions, celery, carrots and plum tomatoes that add this natural burst of sweetness. The base ingredients are elevated with the addition of fresh herbs. In order to execute this recipe correctly you need high quality ingredients and some time. Slow cooking is essential when making oxtails.

Ingredients (Serves 2-3)

1 kg oxtails, cut into chunks
Olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste (tomato puree)
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into pieces
2 celery stalks, trimmed and cut into small chunks
2 leeks, trimmed and cut into small chunks
3 sprigs of rosemary, fresh
5 sprigs of thyme, fresh
3 bay leaves, fresh
1 cup red wine
1 extra large tin diced tomatoes, 35 oz
4-5 cups beef broth

Preheat oven to 160ºC, 325ºF, gas 3.

Drizzle oxtails with olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Toss to coat oxtails.

Place oxtails into a large ovenproof casserole pot over high heat, and sear on all sidesfor about 10 minutes. Exterior should be brown and caramelised.

Reduce heat to medium low, remove oxtails and set aside.

Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the same pot, add onions and garlic, stir for about 5 minutes until lightly browned.

Add tomato paste. Stir.

Add carrots, celery and leeks. Stir.

Add rosemary and thyme by sliding fingers down the sprigs to remove leaves.

Add bay leaves and cook for about 5 minutes until everything softens. Stir frequently.

Return oxtails to the pot. Pour in red wine and tomatoes, give it a good stir.

Add 3 cups of beef broth, or enough to cover the oxtails, don’t fill pot to the brim.

Place pot into the oven and cook for 2-3 hours or until meat is tender and falls off the bone. Stir every hour and add more beef broth or water to loosen the stew if needed.

Allow to cool, season with salt and pepper.

Serve with steamed broccoli.