This oxtail stew recipe is easy to make but is best made a day or two in advance. Making ahead helps the flavours to develop and makes it easier to remove any excess fat - so its healthy too.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours, 15 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours, 35 minutes
Yield: Serves 4 - 6
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp English mustard powder (optional)
- 1 whole oxtail (approx 2¼lb/1 kilo in weight) cut into 2"/5cm chunks
- 1 glass red wine, or small glass of dry sherry
- 1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 4 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 leeks, cleaned and thickly sliced
- 4 celery sticks, roughly chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 ½ pints/ 1.25 litres dark beef stock
- 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, stalks and leaves, roughly chopped + leaves for garnish
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tbsp soft butter
- Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C/Gas 3
- Heat the oil in a large ovenproof casserole dish. Add the salt, pepper and mustard powder to the flour and mix thoroughly. Toss the oxtail chunks a few at a time in the flour and brown, again two or three at a time, in the hot oil. Remove from the oil and keep to one side.
- Once all oxtail pieces have been browned, add the wine or sherry to the pan and scrape the bottom of the pan furiously to remove any flour or meat juices. Keep stirring until the wine has reduced to a thick glaze on the bottom of the pan.
- Add the onion and garlic, stir well and cook for 3 minutes to soften the onion, but not brown it. If the onion is starting to brown, lower the heat.
- Add all the remaining ingredients, stir well, bring to a gentle boil and then cover with a lid and cook in the preheated oven for 3 hours.
- Remove the dish from the oven, remove the lid and cover with a tea cloth and leave to cool. Remove the meat from the casserole and place in a separate bowl, cover and place in the refrigerator. Also, place the casserole in the fridge if it will fit, if not decant the vegetables and stock into a large jug or bowl which will fit. Leave overnight.
- Next day, remove all the dishes from the fridge. There will be a layer of hard fat on the vegetables and stock, carefully remove this from the surface with a spoon. Place the cleaned stock and meat back into the casserole cover with a lid and place in a hot oven (400°F/200°C/Gas 6) for an hour.
- Meanwhile mix the butter with the flour and place in the freezer.
- After the hour, remove the flour from the freezer, break into small pieces into the stew and stir until the flour has dissolved. Return the casserole uncovered to the oven and cook for a further 15 minutes. Leave to stand for 10 minutes, adjust the seasoning to your personal taste, sprinkle with the parsley leaves and serve.