There is something rather medieval about Oxtail. The gnarly, boney joints might not look like much, but those in the know are all too aware of the hidden magic that is kept within this old-fashioned cut.
All it needs is time. Time to release the heavenly marrow that slowly marinades the dish. Time to allow the tough sinews to relax and relent, leaving you with flakes of beefy delight.
This is proper hearty food that packs a punch. The perfect fodder for chilly evenings, when only something warming and eaten with a spoon will do.
500g of Grass Fed Beef Oxtail
Half a bottle of Red Wine
1 Litre of Beef Stock
2 tbsp Beef Dripping
2 white onions, diced
8 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 sticks of celery, diced
1 large fennel bulb, sliced fine
2 sprigs of rosemary
5 bay leaves
1 kilo of ripe tomatoes
500g rigatoni, cooked
Preheat the oven to 180C. Whilst the oven is preheating, roughly chop the tomatoes and mix with a little olive oil and salt. Spread them out over a tray and then roast for around 20 minutes at 180C until they are completely juicy and soft.
Next, heat a large, heavy based and oven proof saucepan with a little beef dripping. Place the oxtail into the pan and caramelise it in the beef dripping until golden brown for about 5 minutes. Remove the oxtail from the pan and set aside.
To the same pan, add in the onion, garlic cloves and sweat for another 5 minutes. Add in the sliced fennel, the celery and the herbs. Continue cooking on the stove for another 5 minutes, mixing it all well together. Add the oxtail back into the pan followed by the wine and the stock. Let the oxtail, veggies and liquid blip away on the stove on a low heat until it has reduced by half. Once this has happened, add the cooked tomatoes into the pan.
At this point, pop the lid on, and place the whole pot into the oven for 3 ½ hours at 160C or until the meat will fall off the bone. After this, the bones can be pulled out.
To serve, add in the pasta, stir all together and grab a fork. No plate needed, this dish is designed to be devoured straight away!