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Oxtail With Milk Stout and Marjoram

by . Featured in HOW TO EAT

Introduction

There is something about the tender viscosity and deep, rich flavour of slow-cooked oxtail that makes it, for me, the dream stew. I know its fattiness is not for everyone, but I love the way it feels as if I’ve put on beef lip gloss after eating a big bowl or two of it. And talking of fat, I favour beef dripping to cook it in, but if you need to use oil, nothing will go wrong.

I should add that the cooking times below can be regarded as a minimum. Last time I made this, after I had reheated it, I had to (for a reason too boring to go into) leave it in the oven for a further four hours (turned down to 150°C/130°C fan/300°F) and it was wonderful. And you could happily extend the initial cooking time as well.

Mashed potato is traditional with oxtail stew, and I wouldn’t offer a dissenting voice. But rice (I like basmati) works as well. And I know I’m not supposed to recommend a second reheat (see note), but if at the end I have a little oxtail and more juice left, I pull the meat off the bone, shred it, add orzo pasta and reheat until the pasta is soft, and most of the gleaming chestnut liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle with parsley, and eat with a spoon. But I don’t wish to taunt you, as this is so good, you may well have no leftovers to play with anyway.

Make sure you do buy milk stout – not the more widely-known and more bitter regular stout.

There is something about the tender viscosity and deep, rich flavour of slow-cooked oxtail that makes it, for me, the dream stew. I know its fattiness is not for everyone, but I love the way it feels as if I’ve put on beef lip gloss after eating a big bowl or two of it. And talking of fat, I favour beef dripping to cook it in, but if you need to use oil, nothing will go wrong.

I should add that the cooking times below can be regarded as a minimum. Last time I made this, after I had reheated it, I had to (for a reason too boring to go into) leave it in the oven for a further four hours (turned down to 150°C/130°C fan/300°F) and it was wonderful. And you could happily extend the initial cooking time as well.

Mashed potato is traditional with oxtail stew, and I wouldn’t offer a dissenting voice. But rice (I like basmati) works as well. And I know I’m not supposed to recommend a second reheat (see note), but if at the end I have a little oxtail and more juice left, I pull the meat off the bone, shred it, add orzo pasta and reheat until the pasta is soft, and most of the gleaming chestnut liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle with parsley, and eat with a spoon. But I don’t wish to taunt you, as this is so good, you may well have no leftovers to play with anyway.

Make sure you do buy milk stout – not the more widely-known and more bitter regular stout.

Image of Nigella's Oxtail with Milk Stout and Marjoram
Photo by Jonathan Lovekin

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What 1 Other has said

  • i've never eaten oxtail, but i do love that beef-fat lip gloss feeling; i grew up with schmaltz, oil, and butter. there's always plenty of lots of different kinds of fats in my kitchen. I'll have to ask Google what milk stout is, though. It sure does sound yummy!

    Posted by hollis517 on 23rd November 2018
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