Braised oxtail with carrots

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

I love oxtail braised on the bone. I've had versions where the meat has been flaked from the bone after cooking then wrapped in caul fat and braised again. It just doesn't work for me - what's the point when you could be picking the meat off the bone? Oxtail sounds wintery, but as well as going with mashed root vegetables, it's good in spring and summer with seasonal vegetables like peas, broad beans and asparagus. Butchers normally have oxtail cut into pieces. If possible avoid the tail bits or cook them with the rest and make them into a soup with the extra sauce.

I love oxtail braised on the bone. I've had versions where the meat has been flaked from the bone after cooking then wrapped in caul fat and braised again. It just doesn't work for me - what's the point when you could be picking the meat off the bone? Oxtail sounds wintery, but as well as going with mashed root vegetables, it's good in spring and summer with seasonal vegetables like peas, broad beans and asparagus. Butchers normally have oxtail cut into pieces. If possible avoid the tail bits or cook them with the rest and make them into a soup with the extra sauce.

1.5 kg oxtail, cut into 2-3cm thick pieces and trimmed of any excess fat
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1tsp fresh thyme leaves
60g butter, plus more for the carrots
50g flour, plus a little extra for dusting
2tsp tomato purée
100ml red wine
2 litres beef stock or a couple of good quality stock cubes, dissolved in 2 litres of hot water
250g small carrots, such as Chantenay, cleaned and trimmed
1/2 tbsp fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 220º/Gas mark 7. Season the pieces of oxtail and lightly dust them with flour. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, turning them half way through to make sure they're nicely coloured on both sides. Meanwhile heat the 60g butter in the pressure cooker pan and gently cook the onion, garlic and thyme for 3-4 minutes until soft, stirring every so often. Add the flour and tomato purée and stir well. Gradually add in the red wine and stock, stirring well to avoid lumps forming, and bring to the boil. Add the pieces of oxtail then close and secure the pressure cooker lid.

Cook on the lowest heat for 1 hour then remove from the heat and release the pressure and remove the lid. Check the pieces of oxtail. The meat should be tender and easily removed from the bone; if not, replace the lid and cook for another 15 minutes or so.

If you haven't got a pressure cooker allow up to 3 hours to cook the oxtail in a covered pan on a low heat preferably with a simmering plate. Check after 2 hours to see if it's tender.

Skim the fat from the sauce with a ladle and if the sauce is not thick enough, drain it off into another pan and simmer until it thickens, skimming every so often, then pour back over the meat.

Meanwhile cook the carrots in another pan, just covered with water. Add salt and pepper and a teaspoon of sugar and simmer for about 15 minutes until tender. Drain and mix with butter and parsley.

Serve the carrots spooned over the oxtail with some buttery mashed potato on the side.

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