I absolutely adore slow-cooking as it’s perfect for when you’ve got that little bit of extra time, say at a weekend or on a day off. You do a few initial tasks and then let the oven on a low heat, do the hard work whilst you put your feet up and enjoy the delicious smells that exhale across the kitchen.
This type of slow-cooking is known as ‘Braising’ in which the meat is first seared for a few minutes in a hot pan with some oil, until browned on all sides and then removed. Then the vegetables, quite often onions and garlic, are then added to the pan for a few minutes until soft, followed by various spices, wine and stock.
The process is always similar though, the browning of the meat kicks off the cooking process before it’s immersed into the liquid. If alcohol is being used, such as wine, it is first brought up to the boil and then simmered and reduced for a few minutes to remove the alcohol and leave the flavour for cooking.
If you like your Beef, you’ll adore this Oxtail Casserole recipe. It’s literally melt-in-the-mouth meat and words cannot express how good the sauce compliments the Beef. It has become a favourite of mine and there’s always plenty leftover for another day, saving you time in the kitchen.
Oxtail is also very cheap for the amount of meat you actually get, it may look unusual but getting used to cooking with it was a great decision I made and hopefully you’ll do the same.
Prep Time: 20 Mins Cooking Time: 3 Hours
900g x Oxtail
1 x Large Red Onion (peeled and sliced)
2 x Garlic Cloves (peeled and finely chopped)
1/2 teaspoon x Chilli Flakes
3 x Star Anise
4 x Black Peppercorns
1 x Bay Leaf
300ml x Red Wine
700ml x Beef Stock
2 x Carrots (chopped)
2 x Parsnips (chopped)
300g x New Potatoes (chopped in half)
Handful of Rosemary (leaves removes)
1. Heat a large casserole dish on the hob over a medium-high heat and add some olive oil. After allowing the oil to heat for a few minutes add the oxtail pieces for 5-8 minutes (depending on the size) and brown on all sides. Once browned, remove the oxtail onto a large enough plate and set aside.
2. Add some more oil and add the sliced onions and chopped garlic for a few minutes until softened. Pre-heat the oven to 150C for fan-assisted (170C for conventional). At this point make the beef stock (if using a stock cube, put the kettle on now).
3. Next, add the chilli flakes, peppercorns and bay leaf and return the browned oxtail pieces to the casserole. Add the red wine and bring to the boil (this can be done quicker by increasing the heat and adding the pan lid for two minutes without removing), once boiling, remove the pan lid, reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 4-5 minutes until reduced slightly.
4. Now add enough beef stock to just about cover the oxtail pieces and again bring to the boil, then simmer. Add the casserole to the middle of the oven and leave for 1 hour.
5. After an hour, check the liquid hasn’t reduced too much, if so add an additional 100ml boiling water. Place back into the oven with the lid on for 30 more minutes. After the 30 minutes, par-boil the carrots, parsnips and new potatoes for 15 minutes, then add to the casserole dish with the lid off for the final 45 minutes.
6. Once the time is up, remove the oxtails onto a warm plate, along with the carrots, parsnips and new potatoes. Heat the hob onto a high heat and reduce the liquid to a thick/gravy-like consistency. Once this has been reached, return the removed ingredients back to the casserole and serve with the rosemary leaves on top.