braised oxtail with cavolo nero
I love summer food – vibrant salads, ice-cream in waffle cones, picnics in the park and all-day barbecues. That being said, I also adore the rich, comforting dishes that the cold weather brings. Hearty stews, glorious pies and meltingly tender slow cooked joints of meat, like this braised oxtail, served up by B tonight on a creamy bed of mashed potatoes and a side of leafy cavolo nero.
Braised Oxtail with Cavolo Nero
1 kg oxtail
1 large carrot, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tomatoes, quartered
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp tomato purée
500ml beef stock
250ml red wine
a dash of port (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
for the cavolo nero:
1 bunch of cavolo nero, washed and stalks removed
25g parmesan, grated
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Preheat the oven to 160°C.
Wash the oxtail and pat dry. Lightly dust the pieces with flour, then season. Heat the oil in a cast iron pot (dutch oven) and brown the oxtail on all sides. Once coloured, remove and set aside.
Add the onions and carrots to the same pot, cooking until softened (around 5 minutes). Deglaze the pot with 100ml of the wine. When the wine has reduced by half, put the oxtail back in the pot, together with all remaining ingredients. Add water to cover as necessary.
Bring to a boil, then place in the preheated oven and cook for about 3 hours.
When the meat is tender and falling off the bone, remove from the oven. Place the oxtail pieces in a bowl and set aside. Strain the sauce into a saucepan and reduce on a high flame until thickened to your desired consistency. Season to taste. Put oxtail back in the sauce to warm through.
While the sauce is reducing, blanch the cavolo nero for 5 minutes. Drain then toss with the olive oil, Parmesan and garlic while still warm. Season with salt to taste then serve piping hot with Oxtail and some mash.
Serve piping hot with mash and some greens.