Comfort winter warmer dish
- 2 1/2 – 3 kg oxtail (cut into pieces)
- 250ml red wine
- 2 stems rosemary
- 3 stems thyme
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 orange-peel and juice
- 1 lemon-peel and juice
- 5 all spice berries
- 8 juniper berries
- 1tsp mustard seeds
- 30ml vegetable oil
- 3 carrots-peeled, cut into large 3cm pieces
- 2 onions-peeled, cut into large dice
- 40g flour (can use gluten free alternative)
- 3tsp tomato puree
- 4tsp chicken stock powder
- 600ml water
- salt and pepper to taste
Step by Step Instructions
I’m using a pressure cooker for this dish as I like the way it cooks tough cuts of meat plus it’s incredibly faster. If using a pot with lid, just cook the meat until tender which should take about 2 1/2 – 3 hours.
I’m a massive fan of pressure cooking and no, it’s not the same as rapid cooking in a pot. The main difference when preparing foods for pressure cooking is the quantity of liquids (they don’t want too much) which don’t need to cover the item being cooked.
Lets begin by trimming away any excess fat from the oxtail.
Heat a large frying pan over high heat for 2mins, add vegetable oil and fill the pan with seasoned pieces of oxtail to lightly brown. Cook and lightly brown on each side for 2mins. This will be done in 2-3 batches. Allow the pan to re-heat between batches.
Place browned pieces of oxtail into the pressure cooker.
Using the same pan from the oxtail over a high heat, add a little more oil, carrots and onions and lightly brown for 4mins. Add flour, stir through and cook for 2mins.
Add garlic, rosemary, thyme and tomato puree, stir through and cook for 2mins.
Add wine, orange peel, mustard seeds, lemon peel, juniper and all-spice berries, and chicken stock powder to the pan, stir through and add half the water. Bring to a simmer, season and then add to the pressure cooker. Add the rest of the water to the pressure cooker.
Attach the lid to the pressure cooker and start cooking the oxtail. I cook on a medium-high heat for 40mins, before removing from the heat to stand (with lid) for 5mins.
After 5mins resting, I remove the lid and check to see if the oxtail is cooked. It should lightly fall off the bone.
Place the pot onto a medium heat and reduce to a light sauce like consistency (Before reducing, add lemon and orange juice along with any seasoning you think it might require).
Be careful not to reduce the sauce too much as the sauce will thick a little as the dish cools to serving temperature.
Skim any excess oils from the top of the dish using a ladle.
Rest the meat for at least 5mins before serving. I actually rest mine for over 30mins for maximum tenderness.
For me, slow-cooking like braising and stewing achieve their full flavours by starting the dishes on the right heat, with the correct levels of seasoning and aromatics, and not over-filling the pot/pan.
Resting is paramount to tenderness. If you eat a wet dish as soon as it’s cooked, it won’t taste the same as if you did. As the meat and vegetables cool they absorb more liquids, which improves overall tenderness and flavour.
This dish is delicious with crunchy bread, steamed couscous or rice, a warm hearty salad, or maybe cheesy polenta. The options are endless.
If you take the meat off the bone, it can be used for pies, steamed buns, salads, warm grilled sandwiches, pasta dishes, and much more.
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