It has been a busy few months but I'm still cooking. And I'm still keeping up with eating as much vegetarian food as possible. I have stopped eating meat outside of my own home for various reasons but I am enjoying eating vegetarian meals. More veggie friendly food is to come.
This time, I present to you a delicious and winter warming oxtail stew. It's so simple to make, after browning the meant, I literally threw everything into a casserole pot and left it to simmer gently for a couple of hours. The result is meat so tender it falls off the bone and all that fat from the oxtail gets cooked down to deliciousness. I did have a lot of skimming to do towards the end of the cooking time, but that's virtually 10 minutes of work on my part for a fabulous dish!
3 tbsp Flour
Salt and Pepper
~ 2 kg of Oxtail, cut into pieces large and small
1 glass Red Wine
1 Onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves Garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 can of Tinned Tomatoes
4 Carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 Leeks, cleaned and thickly sliced
4 Celery sticks, roughly chopped
2 Bay leaves
Green leaf veggies of choice
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees. Put the flour with a pinch of salt and pepper into a ziplock bag and give it a little shake. Place two pieces of oxtail in the bag and shake it well so the meat is lightly dusted with flour. Then place in the meat into a heated casserole dish with a bit of oil in. Brown the meat well on each side, and do it in batches if you need to.
When the meat is ready, put it to one side and top up the pan with a bit more oil. Fry the onions and garlic until the onions have softened. Add the carrots, leeks and celery and fry for another 5 minutes or so. Add the red wine and leave that to reduce. Finally add the meat and the bay leaves, top up with beef stock so it just covers the meat. Season and place in the cover for 2 hours or more if you have the time.
At about the same time you start to prepare your starch (I used rice, but potatoes or polenta would also work well), remove the pan from the oven and keep it warm on the stove. Using tongs, carefully remove the meat from the pan, then skim the fat from the top of the sauce. I use the ladle technique, skimming the fat quickly from the top. The fat is more translucent than the sauce so skim any liquids that appear lightly coloured. Once you his dark red or dark brown then you're skimming the sauce. Once you are satisfied with your skimming, return the meat to the pan, add the green leaf veggies and put the lid on. Cook until veggies are soft then serve.