a little bit of Oxtail…

Hola and happy Monday!!

The weather here in Spain has cooled thankfully, the humidity has been unbearable. This weekend was really windy, we went down to the beach and I actually felt a little chilly, and last night I even wore winter pj’s ha!!

I have come to stay with my Aunt Heather for a few days, and she had bought some oxtails from the butchers. So we both sat and discussed what we could make with it. As the weather was a little cooler we fancied something homely and comforting. We decided on a French inspired stew with red wine, thyme and garlic.  However we did not want to over complicate the flavours and make sure we could still really taste the rich meat.

We decided to braise the meat in red wine. Braising comes from the French word ‘braiser’ and involves both frying the meat at a high temperature to sear then cooking the meat slowly in liquid  in a covered pot.  After much discussion on which way to do this; I’m a one pot ‘braiser’, my Aunt is a ‘de-glazer braiser’ ha ;-)… We went ahead with my Aunts method of using a frying pan and then placing the meat and onions in  an oven dish and de-glazing the frying pan with the wine. However after we browned it all and de-glazed the pan, we popped the oven dish into the oven and it wouldn’t turn on!! Thus ruining our plans of a rich slow cooked meal with reduced sauce. So the hob it was, but it still ended up tasting amazing…..

French Oxtail Stew

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Serves 4

Difficulty Easy

Time 3 1/2 hours


3 1/2 lbs oxtail

2 celery sticks

4 small red onions sliced

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3 tbsp plain flour

1 whole garlic bulb

1 1/2 tbsp tomato puree

1/2 doz thyme sprigs

4 carrots chopped chunky

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3 tsp Brown Sugar

2 tsp sea salt

2 tsp black pepper

60ml olive oil

1/4 cup butter

2 cups good quality red wine (french if possible)

approx 1/2 pint of good quality beef stock

(Serve with buttery mashed potatoes)


Empty the flour into a bowl with the sea salt and pepper mix well.

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Then coat the oxtail in the flour.

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Place oil and butter in a frying pan,  then add in the onions. Let these cook until golden.

Then with a slotted spoon remove and place into the oven dish (or crock pot for hob)

Next into the same frying pan add in the oxtail keep the heat high, again you are searing this to get a good colour.

Turn the meat so each side is browned. Once they all have a good colour remove and place with the onions in the pot.

Tuck in chunks of celery, carrots, thyme and the garlic which I just chopped the whole bulb into half.

Now splash some red wine into the hot frying pan to de-glaze and then pour over the onion and meat.

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Then pour the rest of the wine to the pot.

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Stir in the tomato paste, sugar and add the stock. Just pour in enough stock to ‘just’ cover the meat. You could use my organic tomato paste here, we unfortunately have ran out 😦 but it would have been great in this recipe.


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Cover well.

OVEN: Heat oven to max. Cook on highest heat for 25 minutes, then turn the oven down to 180 degrees and cook for around 2/3 hours or until the meat falls off the bone. Once it is tender remove lid and let the sauce reduce and meat colour for another 20 minutes.

HOB: With the heat on the highest get the pan to a boil then turn down and cook on low for about 3 hours. Keeping the lid on, until the meat is tender. Again once tender un-cover, I removed the meat at this point and then turned the heat up and let the sauce reduce a little before adding the meat back to the pan.

Half way through each pf the above options taste the sauce and see if it needs anymore seasoning.

Serve with buttery mashed potato.

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Rich and tasty

It really was delicious, give it a go…

Have a great week,for printer friendly option see the recipe in my recipe index page.

Lulu xxx

❤ ❤ ❤