Sunday, July 29, 2007
Braised Oxtail cottage pie
For the braised oxtail:
150ml Madeira or medium sherry
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed into a paste
a few sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf torn into pieces
1/4tsp ground cinnamon
1/4tsp ground nutmeg
2kg oxtail, separated into joints
sea salt and black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
600g onions, peeled halved and sliced
1 bottle red wine
For the cottage pie:
1 recipe for braised oxtail
1.3 kg floury potatoes, peeled and halved, or quartered if large
120g unsalted butter
3tbsp full cream milk
sea salt and black pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Make the casserole:
It isn’t essential to marinate the meat, but it does give it that extra something. Combine the Madeira or sherry, the garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and spices in a large bowl. Add the meat and baste it, then cover and chill for about 6 hours or overnight, basting it halfway through if you remember.
Remove the meat from the marinade, dry it and season. Reserve the marinade. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan over a highish heat, add half the meat and sear it to color it on all sides. Remove it and sear the remainder in the same way.
Heat a couple of tbsp of oil in a large casserole pan over medium high heat, add the onions and cook for 10 – 15 minutes until golden, stirring occasionally. Add the marinade, the wine and some seasoning, and then the browned oxtail. Bring to the boil, then cover the pan and simmer for another hour till the meat is fork tender.
Transfer the meat to a bowl and simmer the juices to reduce them by about a third, discarding the herbs. Return the meat to the gravy. Leave it to cool. Remove the meat from the bones, shred it with your fingers and add enough of the onion gravy to moisten it. Reserve the rest.
For the mash, either steam the potatoes in the top half of a steamer set over simmering water in the lower half, or bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add potatoes, bring back to a simmer and cook until tender. Drain them into a sieve or a colander and leave for a minute or two for any surface water to evaporate, then pass through a sieve back into the pan. Add the butter, and, once this has melted, the milk and plenty of seasoning. Mix thoroughly to a smooth mash.
Spoon the oxtail into a baking dish, then smooth the potato on top. Toss the breadcrumbs with the vegetable oil and scatter them over the potato. The pie can be prepared up to this point in advance.
When ready to cook, heat the oven to 200c. Bake the pie for 30-35 minutes.
Reheat the remaining onion gravy and serve together with the pie.
This was amazing. My husband fell in love with this dinner. It’s another great recipe from The Country Cook.
I’ve made oxtail before, but have been looking for an interesting recipe to try it again. I think it’s great fun, both cooking and eating. Now that I have a good butcher I was able to buy a proper ox tail, which was cool. They cut it up into it’s sections for me, but if you looked, you could see how it all fit perfectly to make a whole tail. Not a feature that everyone looks for in their food, but I found it amusing.
This was not a quick dish to make. Actually, I would recommend that you make it over the coarse of three days. On the first day, just set it marinating. On the second day (make it a lazy Sunday) cook the oxtail. Actually it’s worth mentioning at this point that the braised oxtail is actually it’s own recipe in the book, just add a bunch of mushrooms for the last hour of cooking, and remove them with the meat while you thicken the sauce. This would be a lovely dinner on it’s own. If you want to take the extra step, I would say let it cool and leave It over night. That way on the day of, it’s not an insane amount of cooking.
I did the two last parts on the same day, and I was a little pressed for time, so I wound up really burning my fingers trying to get all the meat off the bones before it had fully cooled down. I don’t recommend that.
One last tip, if you are buying a whole oxtail, instead of parts, they will obviously vary in size quite a bit, but the one I bought was 1.5kg (3lbs). It worked fine in this recipe even though it was a bit small.
This is a cooking project, but if you don’t mind a cooking project, then try this because it rocks!