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More Nigella recipes

Oxtail On Toast

by . Featured in SIMPLY NIGELLA
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Introduction

It is quite extraordinary how much mileage you get from this: it makes enough to spread on 6-8 pieces of toast, and you'll still be able to conjure up a sauce with what's left to eat with wide egg noodles, or over polenta. Just make sure to reheat only as much as you need for each outing. I freeze mine in portions - enough to spread on 4 pieces of toast - for much comfort and joy at later dates.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

It is quite extraordinary how much mileage you get from this: it makes enough to spread on 6-8 pieces of toast, and you'll still be able to conjure up a sauce with what's left to eat with wide egg noodles, or over polenta. Just make sure to reheat only as much as you need for each outing. I freeze mine in portions - enough to spread on 4 pieces of toast - for much comfort and joy at later dates.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Image of Nigella's Oxtail On Toast
Photo by Keiko Oikawa

Ingredients

Makes: 2 litres

Metric Cups
  • 1 onion (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 1 carrot (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 small handful fresh flatleaf parsley
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon duck, goose or bacon fat
  • zest and juice of 1 clementine or ½ orange (preferably unwaxed)
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme or 1 x 15ml tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa
  • 4 x 15ml tablespoons red vermouth or ruby port
  • 500 millilitres beef stock (the sort that comes "fresh" in tubs is fine)
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt flakes
  • 1¼ kilograms oxtail (cut into 5-6cm /2in slices)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • fresh thyme to serve (optional)
  • 1 onion (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 1 carrot (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 small handful fresh italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon duck, goose or bacon fat
  • zest and juice of 1 clementine or ½ orange (preferably unwaxed)
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme or 1 x 15ml tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
  • ¼ cup red vermouth or ruby port
  • 2 cups beef broth (the sort that comes "fresh" in tubs is fine)
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2¾ pounds oxtail (cut into 5-6cm /2in slices)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • fresh thyme to serve (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC/150ºC Fan/gas mark 3/325ºF.
  2. Put the chopped onion, garlic and carrot into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Tear the celery stick into 2 or 3 pieces and drop that in too, along with the parsley, and blitz till finely chopped. Or you can simply do this by hand.
  3. Melt the duck (or other) fat over a medium heat in a heavy-based flameproof casserole (with a tight-fitting lid), and when hot, grate in the zest of the clementine (or orange), stirring it in the warm fat and letting the scent waft up, before adding the mixture from the processor. Cook, stirring every now and again, for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the dried thyme (or fresh thyme leaves), ground allspice and cocoa and stir together before pouring in the vermouth (or port). Let it bubble up, then pour in the beef stock and Worcestershire sauce, squeeze in the juice of the clementine or orange (don't worry if you get a bit of pulp) and sprinkle in the salt. Give it a stir, then add the oxtail to the liquid in the pan, bring to a bubble, add the bay leaves, clamp on the lid and transfer to the oven to cook for 3½ hours.
  5. You'll know the oxtail is ready when it's falling off the bone. Using 2 forks, start pulling the meat off and shredding it. If you want to wait until it's a little cooler, by all means do. Cool the stew, remove the bones, then keep in the fridge in a covered container for a least 1 day, or up to 3 days.
  6. When you're ready to reheat the oxtail, remove the fat, which will have risen to the surface in a solid disc, and add as much oxtail as you need to a pan that's big enough for the portion size you've settled on. It will seem dry, but this is just because the juices have jellied - you do not need to add water, however much you itch to. But you must make sure the heat under the pan is low, and the lid is tightly clamped on, to preserve the liquid you do have, and make sure it is piping hot before serving.
  7. Spread on toast made with good bread - I find a cupful of stew, in its cold jellied state, is enough for 3 pieces of toast, maybe 4 - and strew with some fresh thyme leaves, should you have some.
  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC/150ºC Fan/gas mark 3/325ºF.
  2. Put the chopped onion, garlic and carrot into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Tear the celery stick into 2 or 3 pieces and drop that in too, along with the parsley, and blitz till finely chopped. Or you can simply do this by hand.
  3. Melt the duck (or other) fat over a medium heat in a heavy-based flameproof casserole (with a tight-fitting lid), and when hot, grate in the zest of the clementine (or orange), stirring it in the warm fat and letting the scent waft up, before adding the mixture from the processor. Cook, stirring every now and again, for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the dried thyme (or fresh thyme leaves), ground allspice and unsweetened cocoa and stir together before pouring in the vermouth (or port). Let it bubble up, then pour in the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce, squeeze in the juice of the clementine or orange (don't worry if you get a bit of pulp) and sprinkle in the salt. Give it a stir, then add the oxtail to the liquid in the pan, bring to a bubble, add the bay leaves, clamp on the lid and transfer to the oven to cook for 3½ hours.
  5. You'll know the oxtail is ready when it's falling off the bone. Using 2 forks, start pulling the meat off and shredding it. If you want to wait until it's a little cooler, by all means do. Cool the stew, remove the bones, then keep in the fridge in a covered container for a least 1 day, or up to 3 days.
  6. When you're ready to reheat the oxtail, remove the fat, which will have risen to the surface in a solid disc, and add as much oxtail as you need to a pan that's big enough for the portion size you've settled on. It will seem dry, but this is just because the juices have jellied - you do not need to add water, however much you itch to. But you must make sure the heat under the pan is low, and the lid is tightly clamped on, to preserve the liquid you do have, and make sure it is piping hot before serving.
  7. Spread on toast made with good bread - I find a cupful of stew, in its cold jellied state, is enough for 3 pieces of toast, maybe 4 - and strew with some fresh thyme leaves, should you have some.

Additional Information

MAKE-AHEAD NOTE:
The oxtail can be made up to 3 days ahead. Cool, cover and refrigerate within 2 hours of making.

CONVERSION NOTE TO SLOW COOKER:
Halve the stock and cook on low for 8 hours, until the oxtail is tender enough to shred, before adding the dried or fresh thyme, ground allspice and cocoa and continuing as per recipe.

FREEZE NOTE:
Freezed cooled oxtail in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge before reheating.

MAKE-AHEAD NOTE:
The oxtail can be made up to 3 days ahead. Cool, cover and refrigerate within 2 hours of making.

CONVERSION NOTE TO SLOW COOKER:
Halve the stock and cook on low for 8 hours, until the oxtail is tender enough to shred, before adding the dried or fresh thyme, ground allspice and cocoa and continuing as per recipe.

FREEZE NOTE:
Freezed cooled oxtail in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge before reheating.

Tell us what you think

What 1 Other has said

  • This was incredibly delicious! The oxtail turned out so tender and practically melted off the bone. The smell of it braising was intoxicating. It was also fun to serve to company. I put the shredded oxtail into a serving dish and set it next to a platter of toasted French bread slices. It was a cozy and convivial evening as we all talked and built our toasts. The Sweet and Sour Slaw from "Simply Nigella" was a sharply contrasting side dish. The Cheesecake Ice Cream and Cherries Jubilee from "Cook, Eat, Repeat" was a cool finish!

    Posted by joshv41680 on 6th December 2020
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