Oxtail is an ingredient that I have been using more and more now that it is readily available in my local supermarket. It is such a fantastic ingredient and cheap – and made cheaper as the good people of Worthing do not seem to favour it and so it is often reduced – but packed full of flavour and easy to cook. Slow cooking in a stew is the best way to prepare it as the fat and bone naturally result in a beautiful rich sauce.
For this recipe I combined the oxtail with another of my favourites, chorizo. I really love making stews infused with those magnificent Spanish flavours as the richness you get from the paprika, garlic and red wine never fail to delight. This will need a good 3 hours of cooking at least, but the actual preparation time is minimal. This should feed four people but the leftovers are amazing so worth making more than you need.
1kg (approx) of oxtail cut into large pieces
1 chorizo ring sliced – I always use the spicy one.
1 large onion roughly sliced
3 cloves of garlic – crushed
1 can/carton of butter beans
1 bottle of red wine – Rioja/Tempranillo ideally to keep the whole Spanish thing going
500ml of Good quality beef stock – not from a cube!
Parsley, salt and pepper
Plain white Flour
- Pour yourself a good sized glass of the wine.
- Season the flour with salt and pepper and roll the oxtail in it. You can trim off some of the fat first if you wish, I don’t but that’s personal choice.
- Heat some olive oil in a large casserole and pre heat the oven to about 110C. Brown off the oxtail pieces in the oil and remove, I put them back on the plate with the seasoned flour on so that it soaks up the juices.
- Reduce the heat slightly and add the onions and cook until golden, you may need to add a little more oil and a pinch of salt to prevent the onions catching. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute or so.
- Add the sliced chorizo pieces and stir through the onions and garlic. They should release some lovely oil that will start to flavour the onions. Cook for a few of minutes.
- Place the oxtail and juice soaked flour back into the pan and combine with the other ingredients. Turn up the heat and pour in approximately half the bottle of wine and the beef stock, ideally you are looking for there to be a 50/50 split of liquids between wine and stock so this depends on the size of your pan.
- Remove from the hob and season before placing into the oven for at least 3 hours, longer if you have time. Whilst this is cooking sit back with the lovely aromas and enjoy the rest of the wine – make sure you have another bottle to have with the food. About 30 minutes before serving check the seasoning and stir in the drained butter beans.
- Serve with some chopped parsley on a lovely white plate with some crusty bread. You can do some veg if you want to have some green stuff on the plate but it is not essential.
One of the joys of this dish, apart from its simplicity and wonderful flavours, is to squash the butter beans with the back of your fork and stir them into the sauce as you would do with mash. This is a truly lovely plate of food as you get meltingly soft meat and a wonderfully thick and luscious sauce.
If you have any leftover oxtail then lucky you. I used mine to make some oxtail ravioli on the Monday and then just combined it with some fresh tagliatelle on the Tuesday. Both were delicious and almost as good as the original dish – you can see the picture on my Instagram feed @foodboozeandreviews.