Oxtail Stew with rosemary and ginger

One of my favorite meats is oxtail. I don’t know many people here in the States that have had it this extremely flavourful cut of beef. Full of collagen, fat and tender meat if

cooked slowly for hours. My Mum made the most delicious oxtail stew in winter when we were growing up. Her well seasoned cast iron pot was used for this dish – that pot is an institution and she still uses it. I too have one of those cast iron pots now and my love of oxtail always brings back such good memories of delicious food. My Mum is a great cook, so was my Dad. Here is a recipe, step by step in photos. I’ll try and explain it but it’s pretty much like beef stew. Set aside an hour for preparation and then it slowly cooks in your oven for 4 – 6 hours until fall off bone tender. Set aside and plan a full day to make this, though the prep takes the longest, then after that it just cooks all day until you’re ready for dinner. Your home will smell wonderful too!

Ingredients

  • 5 lbs oxtail
  • 1 packet bacon, diced
  • 2 shallots or add extra onion
  • 1 onion, red if preferred
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 thumb ginger
  • 2 chillies
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 7 bay leaves
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup good red wine
  • 13 cloves garlic (added half way through cooking to enhance flavour)

Method

  • chop up bacon and cook in large pot until just browned, remove from pot with slotted spoon as you will use the bacon drippings all through the preparation of this dish and beyond with some veggies to accompany the oxtail
  • Pat the oxtail dry with clean paper towels and brown all sides of oxtail well, doing only a few at a time (if you cook too many pieces at a time it makes steam and will not brown nicely)
  • Place browned oxtail in casserole or Dutch oven pot, greased with olive oil
  • Cook all oxtail this way placing in casserole dish
  • When done, use same drippings to first cook your chopped onions adding on top of the oxtail when just glossy
  • Then cook diced carrots the same way, adding to oxtail
  • Set oven to 275F to pre heat
  • Chop up the ginger and chillies, toss over oxtail dish
  • Pour over beef stock and wine
  • Place lid on casserole pot, pop in the oven for 4 hours.
  • After 2 hours add the crushed garlic returning the pot to the oven with lid on to continue cooking
  • Slowly cook another 2 hours
  • Take out oven and check for tenderness
  • If still not fall off bone tender turn oven down to 200F and cook another 2 hours
  • Remove from oven and let rest a half hour then serve

Use reserved bacon drippings to make a stir fried cabbage dish. When close to serving the oxtail, thinly slice up red cabbage and onion, toss in drippings with dill and caraway and stir fry in drippings to serve with oxtail.

I will edit this post later to add the stir fried cabbage.

I hope you enjoy and please adjust cooking time as you see fit. I do suggest letting the dish rest a bit before serving, or even making the previous day and warming it slowly in the oven to eat the next day works too.

After the garlic is added 2 hours after simmering in the oven it looks like this.

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