Gary Rhodes: Braised Oxtail with Mashed Potatoes

Braised Oxtail with mashed Potatoes

Serves 6

For the Oxtail:

12 large pieces oxtail, trimmed of fat (18 for oxtail fans)

oil for frying


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2 carrots, chopped

1 onion, chopped

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2 celery sticks, chopped

1 leek, chopped

4 tomatoes, chopped

sprig of thyme

1 bay leaf

1 small garlic cloves, crushed

1 bottle red wine

2 tins consomme or 1 litre of beef stock

Cornflour loosened with water to thicken - optional

For the garnish:

1 carrot, finely diced

1 onion, finely diced

2 celery sticks, finely diced

1 small leek, finely diced

1 courgette, finely diced

3 tomatoes, skinned, seeded and diced

½ heaped tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Method for the oxtails:

Pre heat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas 6

Season each piece of oxtail with salt and pepper

In a large pan, heat the oil and fry the tails until brown on all sides.  Remove & drain in a colander.

Meanwhile, fry the chopped carrots, onions, celery and leeks in a saucepan until well coloured

Add the chopped tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf & garlic & cook until the tomatoes have softened

Add the red wine and bring to the boil, reducing down by three quarters. Add the stock and oxtails.

Bring to a simmer & braise in the oven for 2-2½ (3hours if oxtails are large) hours until tender.

Remove the meat from the sauce & keep to one side on a plate/tray

Push & drain the sauce through a sieve into a clean pan. Boil & reduce down, skimming off any impurities to a sauce consistency, only thickening with cornflour if becoming too strong in flavour.  Season with salt and pepper.

For the garnish:

This can be done while the above sauce is reducing

Place 150ml (¼pint) of water in a pan, adding the finely diced carrot, onion, celery, courgette & leek. Cook over a medium heat until soft.

When the meat sauce is ready, add the tails and vegetable garnish and simmer until all warmed through.  Add the diced tomato & spoon into bowls.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Mashed Potatoes: (these can be made while braising the oxtails)

2lb large floury potatoes, peeled & quartered

50-75g unsalted butter

150ml (5fl oz) single cream or milk

salt, pepper & freshly grated nutmeg

Boil the potatoes in a large pan of salted water until cooked – approx 20-25 minutes

Drain of all water (into a colander) & put back into the pan replacing the lid.  Shake the pan vigorously to begin the breakdown of the potatoes before mashing until smooth.

Add the butter & milk or cream, a little at a time.

Season with salt, pepper and some freshly grated nutmeg

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